Published here May 2004.

Introduction | Assumptions | Contradiction
Ambiguity | My Recommendation

Cyril Souchon, VP Service Delivery, Miraculum
Cyril began work in 1973 rising to VP Data Processing and subsequently managing large-scale IT Financial systems projects. During the transformation in South Africa in the nineties, he program-managed the transition of IT systems from the State to the Private sector. Currently Service Delivery VP for Miraculum, an ASP company, he has also presented project management at the MBA course at Wits University as a guest lecturer. He has sat on the executive of the South Africa CSA. He can be reached at


A while ago, I read Max's article on Stakeholders with great interest and this, coupled with another article on risks in dysfunctional software projects, lead me to share these thoughts with other members of the project management community.

In my practice, I have found that the definition of stakeholder needs is a particularly challenging part of project delivery. At the same time, it has been a critical success/failure factor in every project that I have worked on. There are three impediments to the definition of stakeholder needs that I have encountered, whether these be described in project scope documents, project charters, design documents or any other such verbalization of need. So, for gearing up a project, I always include in my checklists specific tasks to identify and deal with these impediments - at both the project level and at the sub-project levels. I will describe the issues I have encountered under

  • Assumptions
  • Contradiction, and
  • Ambiguity.

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