The procedure for identifying and controlling task stakeholders and culture is one of the main processes in job implementation because not only is job success judged by stakeholder satisfaction, but because every stakeholder makes an essential contribution to the job (Verzuh 2008, p. 48). Beside stakeholder id and management, task managers must set up a balance between putting into action global standards and responding to local needs in their efforts to effectively control the diffusion of stakeholder rules and practices (Nicolod 2007, p. 484).
Despite the great importance associated with stakeholder and culture management procedures, these thorny operations or areas in job implementation have received less attention particularly when comparisons are done relative to other areas that be based upon these procedures (Clear et al. 1999, p. 1). Such areas include, but are unrestricted to, scenario-based requirements and end user participation in the task development stages. It was from this point of view that this newspaper decided to make the next contributions on this topic: first, a study was developed predicated on the theoretical platform mixed up in id and management of stakeholder interactions. The project continued to review books that helps its users to understand clearly the total amount that needs to be struck between understanding of organizational culture and stakeholder management.
It is from the above point of view that this research study aimed to review the role and the affect of various stakeholders in the execution of projects. In tackling this case study, the author began by stating desire to the need for studying this topic.
This was accompanied by a review of the books. The books review clearly established who the job stakeholders were. In addition, their role and their affect in the task were clearly diagnosed. Moreover, the literature review identified organizational culture and continued to determine its link with stakeholder management.
After researching the literature, the author, in a holistic view, explored how a reputable Saudi technology organization, Zuhair Fayze Collaboration (ZFP), recognized and managed its stakeholders throughout a multi-million project executed by the business. This project, that was undertaken in the entire year 2001 involved the analysis, design, development, unit installation and commissioning of your Facilities Information System to the Royal Saudi Air Pushes (RSAF)- a renown aviation branch that services all Saudi Arabia's Airbases.
Having explored on the studies from his review, the author conclude by giving a critical research of his experience.
It should be outlined that this case study, having been put together after the implementation of a armed service IT project, presented a unique composition and experience. This is so since it involved the introduction of a armed forces system and as such a few of its details could not be studied openly anticipated to security constraints. Consequently, some knowledge gaps might be there in this case study thus constituting its major limitation.
This paper's target was to recognize who the main element task stakeholders were, how they were managed and how their targets come to impact the success of the FIS job. In addition, the author assessed how organizational or countrywide culture designed the prospects of key stakeholders. All these were intended to help him and the users of the paper to develop suitable and effective stakeholder management strategies in their current or future project assignments.
More so, on paper this paper, it should be noted that the author was determined by the actual fact that regardless of the many advancements in techniques and development tools to effectively control projects, several tasks have still experienced complications that have afflicted their overall quality leading to time and cost overruns. Mohammed (2006) in critiquing Morris and Hough (1987) research on around 3500 projects founded that "overruns" were typical in project implementation given that they ranged between 40 to 200 percent. The figure below depicted basic reports associated with project success out of this research.
Table 1 demonstrating the figures of project success and failure
Pie chart 1 depicting the reports of task success and failure
Singleton (2007) described stakeholders as organizations or those who are actively involved with tasks and whose interests may be negatively or positively afflicted in the programs of conclusion or execution of the particular jobs (p. 12). Relating to him therefore, stakeholders were made up of two categories; indirect stakeholders and direct stakeholders. Indirect stakeholders were summed up by those individuals who, despite having some degree of influence or interest in the businesses of the business, were not straight mixed up in operations of the job. On the other hand, direct stakeholders were composed of those who were directly involved in the procedures of any project lifecycle. As such, they were troubled by the particular job, had the energy to influence it or had stakes in the successful conclusion of the project. The following physique 1 proved the degrees of stakeholder influence and interest.
Manage them closely
Keep informed of task operations
Monitor their operations
On their part, Walker as well as others (2008), in hoping to determine a valid description of who a stakeholder was, discovered that stakeholders were groups or people who possessed some right aspects or fascination with the operations of an project and thus contributed to or were influenced by say, the results or the work of the task (p. 648). To them, stakeholders could be categorized into four categories namely; upstream stakeholders, downstream stakeholders supply-chain lovers, project team stakeholders and exterior stakeholders. Figure 1 below exhibited these sets of job stakeholders.
Walker and his group (2000) in examining the influence of task stakeholders and their mapping by task teams, came to the conclusion that " identifying stakeholders could help trigger a course of investigation that contributes to a better understanding of the type and types of ability and influence which may be exerted on, within and also to project management teams" (p. 648). Frooman (1999) expounded on this point by stating that in discovering the job stakeholders, the job managers were likely to determine whether their assignments were to be given with the needed resources.
On their part, Post as well as others (2002) though acknowledging Freeman's popularised description of an stakeholder as the passions and entities that are either involuntarily or voluntarily involved in a firm's functions, went on to develop their own "stakeholder view" that stressed on the need for stakeholder romantic relationships in any project that involved creation of any organizational riches (p. 1).
In addition, Sharp as well as others (1999) just simply identified a stakeholder as any individual or group who afflicted or were damaged by achievement of your project's objectives (p. 1). They travelled ahead to list various categories of stakeholders as including professionals of a job, end-users, engineers involved with system analysis, design and development, customers who are going to make use of the developed system, exterior bodies for occasion system regulators, domain name experts and many more (Clear et al. 1999, p. 1-2). The three scholars expounded on their definition giving another point of view that stakeholders may be made up of three categories particularly those external on the task team; but who are internal in the business, those inside on the project team and the ones who are external to both company and the task team (Clear et al. 1999, p. 2).
Weiss (2008) identified organizational culture as the distributed principles and meanings as held by organizational associates in common, and are articulated and practised by an organization's market leaders (p. 300). To Weiss therefore, corporate culture is transmitted through:
- Leadership styles and principles as espoused and practised by organizational market leaders.
- The heroes and heroines that the company rewards and stands up as models (Weiss 2008, p. 300).
- The rights or symbols appreciated by organizations.
- The way of communication that is present between project minds and their stakeholders.
Weiss (2008) travelled ahead to point out that though organizational cultures were both invisible and visible, casual and formal, job managers needed to examine and understand organizational civilizations through observation, being attentive and getting together with task or organizational stakeholders. Furthermore, they could study organizational culture in the following ways: studying an organization's physical setting and reading company plans to familiarise themselves with its expected norms or behaviours.
On his part, Chinyio (2007) defined organizational culture "as relating to the degree of deeper and basic beliefs and assumptions as shared by the users of organizations, that unconsciously operate and identified in the basic 'taken for granted' fashion, as 'organizations' view of themselves and their environment" (pp. 176-177).
Ideally, House and his group (2002) in their GLOBE research program theoretically identified organizational culture as "any distributed motives, beliefs, principles, interpretations and identities or meanings of important happenings that emerge from most frequent member encounters and are transferred across generations old" (p. 5).
Furthermore, in helping us to broaden our knowledge of culture, Schein (1996) highlighted that culture manifested itself at 3 levels namely "the amount of deep tacit assumptions, the level of espoused worth that mirrored on just what a group wanted to be and the day to day behavior. For any job success, job implementers needed to have a clear knowledge of all the determined levels.
From their point of view, Osland and Bird (2000) observed that there was a trend "for observers to confuse individual with group prices" (p. 69). As a result, there was need for project expatriates to carry out keen observations to recognize the "variance in behavioural norms for folks, organizational cultures, subcultures as well as changing parts of the modern culture" (p. 70).
More so, Schein (1996) when studying why innovative tasks didn't proliferate and make it through noted there was lack of positioning amongst the next types of culture: the "operator culture" which been around among the subordinates of a business, the "engineering culture" which been around amongst the center level managers and the "professional culture" that was present amongst the company top management (p. 9).
Studies on job management have shown that in conjunction with leaderships, organizational civilizations are central to tasks' working efficiency and overall effectiveness. Studies have generally uncovered that cultures will be the "glue" that contains other organizational sizes (strategy, framework, people and systems) along (Weiss 2008, p. 300). Project success is only going to be achieved if project leaders come to connect themselves with modelling, building and assisting to sustain ethical and legal organizational or national cultures via comprehensive and properly defined compliance and ethics programs.
Singleton (2007) determined the following as the key steps in any stakeholder management process:
- Identification of key stakeholder groups
- Determination of stakeholder influences and interests
- Development of management strategies for each and every identified groups.
On his part, Gibben (2010) postulated that before going ahead to put into practice any project, job leaders or professionals needed to look at the pursuing issues (p. 14);
- Clearly identify job stakeholders;
- Gather key data or information of the identified stakeholders;
- Use the gathered data to ascertain or identify stakeholder priorities;
- Establish the talents and weaknesses of the many stakeholders;
- Identify the stakeholder support;
- Predict the stakeholder behaviours. This can be determined by learning organizational culture and lastly;
- Prepare a stakeholder management strategy.
- All the above mentioned periods can be summarized under stakeholder evaluation approach.
Tellingly, Strong and Rath (2005) argued that the approach of stakeholder management comprised three key steps specifically; stakeholder recognition, stakeholder research and stakeholder planning (p. 173).
Furthermore, on their part, Carayannis and his group (2005) explained the following as the main element steps involved in stakeholder management (p. 184).
Identifying and classifying the stakeholders of the task (against, neutral, for) and inspecting their possible task impacts. This may be done using the job lifecycle.
Isolating and examining job stakeholders with any likely negative impacts
Incorporating and including key primary task stakeholders (included and not limited to the clients, labour union, suppliers, contractors, consultants, and government businesses) in the job plan and in every subsequent period of the project
Ensuring that the mandatory information is regularly availed to the identified stakeholders at appropriate times. This will ensure that the identified key stakeholders will evidently concur with project objectives resulting in a successful completion of the particular project.
These are the approaches used by project managers in minimizing the influences caused by the identified task stakeholders.
From his research, Karlsen (2002) found out that generally in most projects, organized or formal stakeholder management strategies did not are present (p. 22). From his research, stakeholders were been able on a arbitrary basis since there were no plans, functions, methods or well-functioning strategies. As a result, project managers chosen the best alternatives of managing any recognized stakeholder weaknesses.
However, Wolper (2004) gone in advance to propose the four common strategies of controlling stakeholder relationships (p. 172). These were:
Collaborating cautiously with the stakeholders who were found to have a 'combined blessing romance' on the project.
Involving and trusting the supportive stakeholders
Implementing protective strategies that are expert- lively in character for the non-supportive stakeholders; and
Monitoring the stakeholders with little/marginal connections with efficiency.
This being a military services technology system, ZFP used a different but distinct procedure of implementing the system. The procedure of stakeholder identification was the third in its project implementation stages following the meaning of the tactical issue and the dedication of underlying factors. The following is a detailed analysis of how ZFP carried out this important but mainly overlooked procedure for project implementation.
The company job implementation committee started by identifying the main element stakeholders. In doing this, the committee categorised the stakeholders into two extensive categories. They were the primary and extra stakeholders.
The next were recognized as owned by the principal stakeholder category:
- Customers or users of the FIS system (Saudi Arabian air make soldiers)
- Project professionals, supervisors and engineers from ZFP and RSAF.
- RSAF shareholders (all Saudi Arabian air force bases: Dhahran, Tabuk, Taif, Al Kharj and Khamis Mushait and the Saudi Authorities)
- Suppliers/companies/subcontractors of hardware and any software packages
- Project 'steering' committee
- Primary stakeholders were regarded as those individuals or teams who got key hobbies in the FIS task. As such, these were likely to be influenced by the functions in the FIS project lifecycle.
On the other hands, extra stakeholders were referred to as those individuals who had no or very few interest on the FIS project. These were considered essential in this project since their actions may have, in one way or another influenced the quality of the overall system that was to be developed then. For example, the steering committee had remarked that the Saudi Arabian multimedia constituted a key supplementary stakeholder since any negative covering on this huge open public and military task might have induced great harm to the successful completion of this project. This is so because negative promotion towards the job may have lifted general public outcry which would have resulted in the Saudi treasury suspending the financing of this complicated and multi-million FIS task.
Besides the press, other individuals or groups who made it to the extra stakeholder category included and were infinite to the following:
- The licensing firm (Malath Cooperative Insurance Reinsurance)
- Saudi Arabian environmentalists
- The basic Saudi Public
- Professional organizations in the Saudi Kingdom for illustration, Legalized Institutes for Task management in Saudi Arabia.
- Competitors (those companies who lost their bids to deliver the machine)
- Anyone person who validly claimed to truly have a "stake" in the FIS project
Having 'efficiently' recognized FIS task stakeholders, the 'steering' committee remaining it to the task administrator to analyse their effect and produce a management technique for this project. Consequently, the project supervisor, after close discussion with project supervisors, developed the following as the stakeholder research and management strategy:
Interest/Issues of concern
Saudi air power troops, RSAF shareholders, management clubs and project engineers
They were to be the key users of the machine and as such were to give a supportive romantic relationship. Were low as potential risks but on top of ensuring potential co-operation.
Since that they had a supportive marriage, their marriage management was apt to be managed over a exceptional basis. ZFP was to entail these supportive stakeholders in all its relevant job issues.
The licensing companies, environmentalists, professional organizational, competition and the general Saudi public
These were to present three types of relationships; combined blessing, non-supportive and marginal stakeholder romantic relationship. As a result of these relationships, these were to constitute high potential threats and so needed high potential co-operation from the project managers to address their hidden and bad motives.
These categories of stakeholders were to be maintained through cautious, monitoring and proactive defence strategies. Besides using these strategies, universal strategies, best suited to any new diagnostic category, was to be adopted. For instance, rather than ZFP defending itself against negative publicity, it was to build up a high quality system at an inexpensive competitive price. The grade of the FIS system would thus speak for itself resulting in the non-supportive relationships dropping their trustworthiness in their efforts to dispute the project
Table 2 showing how ZFP analysed and developed stakeholder management strategy
As noted earlier, the declaration a task was successful can only be justified if the precise project clearly responded to the needs or expectations of all, if not absolutely all, stakeholders. In this particular technology task, the identified major and secondary groups of stakeholders had their own unique expectations which were clearly and correctly addressed by the entire project manager (with the assistance of the 'steering' committee members).
As previously highlighted, the 'steering' committee that was chosen to oversee the implementation of the huge IT project acquired, in liaison with the project manager, presented several periods in the initial stages upon which key FIS task stakeholders were revealed. From workshops held, it was founded that two types of stakeholders claimed possession to this task. These were the principal and supplementary stakeholders.
Primary stakeholders were constituted by Saudi air force troops, RSAF shareholders, project management, task engineers, job suppliers, companies and sub-contractors amongst others.
Secondary stakeholders were constituted by the licensing organization (Malath Cooperative Insurance Reinsurance), environmentalists, professional organizational, rivals and the general Saudi open public.
Other than the RSAF's managing providing a detailed description of the requirements of the FIS system that was to be developed, the job supervisor and the 'steering' team had to do their best to ensure that additional cash were provided to the various phases of the task on the need basis. Furthermore, the management from both companies were frequently updated on the position of the FIS job among other stakeholder expectations. In the long run, a hi-tech Facilities Information System was supplied, installed and commissioned to the pleasure of the numerous job stakeholders.
The FIS job 'steering' people and the overall project manager completed a comprehensive evaluation of both types of stakeholders. This was done with the main intention of deciding their affect and the need to counter it. In this analysis level, four stakeholder human relationships were identified by the management team. It really is from these romantic relationships that the affects of the stakeholders were determined. Both types of romantic relationships were:
The supportive romantic relationship which was constituted by all the principal stakeholders as in the above list. This category of stakeholders posed a low potential hazard to the success of the FIS job since they totally supported the aim and goals of the FIS project. They thus did the trick hard to help achieve the job goal and goals.
The non-supportive romantic relationship was made up of a few supplementary stakeholders for occasion the competitors. They formed a most distressing romance and therefore were high potential dangers.
In managing the influences of key stakeholders, the 'steering' committee members decided to use a collaborative and proactive defence to handle the influence of the non-supportive stakeholders. In implementing this strategy, the management designed to convert the negative non-supportive romance into a supportive stakeholder romance. For example, when environmentalists tried to ask on the suitability of the FIS system in conserving the environment, the 'steering' committee required it after them to arrange a consultative and awareness forum where this specific stakeholder was comprehensively up to date on the strengths of the FIS system in conserving and protecting the environment. At the conclusion of the forum, all stakeholders experienced joined the supportive stakeholder marriage.
The influences of supportive stakeholders were tackled through a technique that was dubbed as "trustworthy involvement". This strategy placed little focus on the management of these stakeholders since they posed a low danger to the success or successful conclusion of the FIS task.
Having established the above mentioned stakeholder management strategy, ZFP performed meetings and assessed organizational policies. This is carried with the key motive of understanding RSAF's organizational culture. From reviewed information and the observations made, it was founded that a lot of air force soldiers in the four airbases were technology 'gigs' and therefore, would comfortable connect to the high-tech FIS system that had been developed.
5. 6 Understanding nationwide culture characteristics of its team members and determined key stakeholders
Being a Saudi Arabian technology firm and boasting a hundred percent Saudi labor force, ZFP did not experience troubles in understanding cultural characteristics of the Saudi Kingdom. The 'steering' committee experienced noted that most Saudis were tolerant, self-directed, efficient, reasonable, task-oriented, multi-tasking, collaborative, team-players and entrepreneurial. These characteristics were express generally in most stakeholders and were even identified by the task manager as the key strengths that propelled the FIS project to emerge a success.
5. 7 How my observations weighed against the literature
The author got reviewed a whole lot of literature both from the school lectures and electronic digital sources. This books had comprehensively covered amongst others the next objectives:
To study a few of the stakeholder concepts
To understand the nature of stakeholder engagement in various projects
To clearly explain who the stakeholders were and just do it to convey their role in task implementation
To understand the many stakeholder influences and how stakeholder management strategies were developed to counteract the established stakeholder influences.
To define countrywide and organizational culture also to establish their hyperlink with stakeholder management.
Having participated in virtually all project stages and keenly observed the various project activities, the writer high light that ZFP, as a reputable technology organization, was worth its reputation as one of the better Saudi Arabian technology companies. This is because of the systematic manner in which its employees put in place the various job phases. For instance, before identifying the main element stakeholders, the 'steering' team got clearly mentioned and proven the strategy for this job. This had been followed by a comprehensive overview of the factors influencing the task.
The stakeholder management, though overlooked in most worldwide tasks, received its value of attention with key stakeholders being evidently identified, their evaluation being completed and a management strategy established to counteract their affects. All this matched the concepts analyzed in the books review.
As the saying goes, it will always be hard to achieve 100 percent success in virtually any (project) endeavour. Despite the FIS project being declared successful, it ought to be noted that this project, if objectively analysed, had some weaknesses in its implementation stages. The next recommendation can be produced on the stakeholder and culture management stages; which were the key themes of this study:
The project management team should specifically identify the key stakeholder in virtually any future project. This can help the management to carry out comprehensive analysis of the specific stakeholders. Therefore, they will adequately propose as many options of managing their influences. That is vital since it was known that the management team acquired generalized a few of their stakeholders. For instance, rather than just listing competition as extra stakeholders, they should have gone ahead to identify who constituted these technology competition. For instance, The Consolidated Contractors International Company acquired in many cases emerged as the greatest competition to ZFP. There is thus need to determine a management strategy that can counteracted its impact in such multi-million technology jobs.
Conclusively, it ought to be emphasized that the presented research study has assessed theoretical and highlighted the observations from a useful point of view. Through theoretical books review, the writer had the opportunity to expound on his knowledge on the types of individuals that summed up the job stakeholders. Furthermore, the writer discovered that rational approach to stakeholder management engaged exhaustive identification of stakeholders through mapping with their project jobs.
To add, the theory that the execution of ideal communication techniques to tasks with multiple stakeholders reinforced my knowledge that communication was the main element aspect of earning the support of job stakeholders.
In the end, in discovering the limitation of this study, the author points out that the observations manufactured in this job were restrictive in dynamics. This is because the author, being truly a learner, was not granted permission to study all job aspects credited the restrictive methods that followed this military job. There exists therefore need for further research to examine romantic relationships between performance and corporate activities, key aspects which were studied on the sketched outline in this case study.