What We Liked
The Part I Summary concludes with the observation:
Politics are part of life in project environments. Many projects are derailed because of politics despite good planning and project management processes. Project managers must understand the dynamics of politics and their use to get things done from project stakeholders. Politics have a negative connotation; however, politics can also be positive.
The Part II Summary observes:
Politics are a necessary part of life in project environments because most projects have stakeholders with different interests, viewpoints, expectations, and personalities. Managing politics involves managing this diverse mix of stakeholders.
The Part III Summary recommends:
Senior management should establish organizational values and team norms that discourage negative politics. In addition, power should not be centralized among a few managers and departments to avoid possible power corruption. Establish rules and policies that prevent team members from using their power and changing the project agenda to suit their goals. Establishing these policies also creates a framework through which project and organizational goals are defined, and everyone's efforts can be fused to meet overall organizational strategies.
The Part IV Summary concludes that project managers must understand the three truths of life outlined in this part. These are:
People make or break things is the first truth. In other words, people make things happen and prevent things from happening. That is, people do projects, and therefore, people skills are critical to deliver successful projects. People behave differently under different circumstances and at an individual level, team level, or management level.
People do what is in their best interests is the second truth. People do things to help others but they look for an answer to the question "What's in it for me?" Therefore, to manage stakeholders and especially to manage upward, project managers should sell their projects by explaining the project benefits in terms of the stakeholders' interests, "What's in it for them!"
People support what they create is the third truth. Therefore, to gain support from project stakeholders for any initiative is to make them integral to the creation process so they take ownership and feel committed to successful outcomes. In this context, people's involvement and participation should be genuine, and they should feel free to express their opinions and concerns.
Politics in organizations are inevitable, especially in project environments.
7. Ibid, p93.
8. Ibid, p204.
9. Ibid, p308.
10. Ibid, pp415-416.