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My reflection paper takes a
position on how stakeholders should be managed based on formal frameworks that
can be applied. I look at the stakeholders as dynamic capabilities that were
identified and what difference I have to analyse to make had they be classified
appropriately, therefore, allowing us to the client to manage them accordingly.
This can include providing an understanding of the sort of power the different
types of stakeholders wield over a project and provide insights from academic
references of how they can be managed.

The apex of this endeavour is drawing
from the initial project key issues that would enable a more successful follow-up
project with the upgrade implementation. In Personal Development Plan (PDP) i
refers activities which improve self-knowledge, identity, develop talents and
potential, build human capital and employability, enhance the quality of life
and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. The concept is
limited to self-development but includes formal and informal activities for
developing others as well.

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2 Stakeholder Reflection

In this part, I find the rationale
behind bothering something for stakeholders in the first place is that they
matter to the success of any project whose intention is to add value.  I read the thing from (Aaltonen 2011), is
written in this work that reduces uncertainty, in a project management team,
builds up interpretations of their environment by conducting stakeholder
analysis. When viewed in the context of project strategy,(Artto et al. 2012)
argue viewing a project as a firm which has a strategy of its own and therefore
affects the environment around it. In this regard, stakeholders are described
as those actors incur or perceive a direct benefit or loss as a result of the
project.

Although preferable projects are
seen as value adding, stakeholders may have a pessimistic view of them if the
inherent value creation purported is not shared.  According to (Artto et al. 2012) suggests,
there are collaborative and competitive forces in the project’s business
environment which make it critical for the firm to focus on the business
outcome of the project in its management of activities. In their paper,
Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997) provide two key questions that firms may need
to ask before they endeavour into any project: the first is on a normative
theory of stakeholder identification and classification who and what are they?
and the second is on a descriptive theory of stakeholder salience what conditions
classify stakeholders? Furthermore, they argue that stakeholders could be of
primary or secondary depending on the sort of influence is able to exert on a
project.

3 Stakeholder Strategic Management

3.1 Identification

I read by identification that this
part is key stakeholders project, a firm has the option to take a wide or
narrow view. Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997) provide a broad definition of a
stakeholder as an individual or group who have the ability to affect the
achievement of an organisation’s objectives or who is affected by the
achievement of an organisation’s objectives. And their narrow definition of
stakeholders as those groups on which the organisation is dependent for its
continued survival.

It is important to understand the
context as this provides a means of identifying the type of stakeholder based
on the impact they have on the project. Furthermore, it serves as a precursor
to the stakeholder identification. For the purpose of this reflective paper,
the narrow view is adopted. However, this approach does suffer from the bias of
focus on the direct relevance to the firm’s core economic interests (Mitchell,
Agle and Wood, 1997).

Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997)
further argue that narrowing the range of stakeholders requires applying some
acceptable and justifiable sorting criteria to the field of possibilities. They
suggest a relationship based approach, built on acknowledged transactional
conditions, such as the existence of a legal or implied contract, an exchange
relationship, or an identifiable power-dependence relationship (Mitchell, Agle
and Wood, 1997). The identification process does suffer from several challenges
some of which Jepsen and Eskerod (2008) identified as lack of clarity in the
guidelines that are supposed to help in their identification, importance and
expectations.

What I take from this process is a
deeper understanding of the salient actors of the project management process
who if ignored could prove disastrous in the long term. Shortsightedness in a
value-focused approach to project management is not enough, therefore I believe
my own performance as a project manager on a software development project can
be enhanced with good stakeholder management. However, the danger of bounded
rationality does still pose a real threat to my complete identification of all
stakeholders especially the ones that emanate from the macro environment.

These stealth forces remain a
challenge although their management would be seamless with the acquired
understanding of the stakeholder management process. Conversely, there is a
mutual benefit for both myself and the company whose intention is to pursue
positive net present value projects and realize a real return on investment.
Therefore, I now understand that my actions going forward in the stakeholder
“jigsaw” has an inevitable effect on the bottom line of the company.

3.2 Stakeholder
Classification

According to Winch (2010), the
problem of stakeholder analysis can be attributed to the lack of
classification. He suggests resolving this by way of classifying stakeholders,
primarily, into two categories: Internal stakeholders and External
stakeholders. The former are those that have a legal contract with client
whereas the latter has a direct interest in the project. Winch (2010) further
provides a sub-classification that breaks down internal stakeholders into those
clustered around the client on the demand side and those on the supply side.
Similarly, external stakeholders are broken down into private and public.
However, Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997) provide a further classification of
stakeholders where they identify what they call primary stakeholders who bear
some form of risk as a result of investing capital, human or financial
resources to a project.

They classify these as
stakeholders whose non-participation would lead to the project not commencing
in the first place. They include capital suppliers such as shareholders and
investors, employees, other resource suppliers, customers, community residents,
and the natural environment (Clarkson, 1995). In addition, Clarkson (1995)
identifies the secondary stakeholder equivalent as public stakeholders who include
the government and communities. These provide the infrastructure and markets,
whose

3.3 Attributes and Mapping

According to Calvert (1995) as
cited in Bonke and Winch (2002), stakeholder management has been a subject of
growing importance in project management, therefore, Bonke and Winch (2002)
suggest that an understanding of their interests and relative power is vital
for the effective management of the inception stages of many projects during
scope definition. This involves identifying the different attributes of
stakeholders and providing a framework for mapping them.

Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997)
identify three attributes that define stakeholders. The first is a power which
describes the level of influence a stakeholder can wield over a project even in
the midst of resistance. The second attribute is legitimacy which describes the
degree of moral claim a stakeholder has over a project and is inferred by the
level of risk or property rights that articulate the principle of who or what
really counts. Suchman (1995) describes legitimacy as a generalized perception
or assumption that the actions of an entity are desirable, proper, or
appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs.
The last attribute is urgency which captures the dynamism of stakeholder
management. The attribute helps address situations where a project relationship
or claim is of a time-sensitive nature and when that relationship or claim is
important or critical to the stakeholder (Mitchell, Agle and Wood, 1997)
suggest that these attributes are not mutually exclusive and they provide the
basis for what they term as the salience of stakeholders which captures the
dynamism of these attributes and their trade-off with firm managers. They
contend that the attributes are variable, not in a steady state, and socially
constructed to the extent that consciousness and willful exercise may or may
not be present.

Providing a useful framework that
can be used to manage stakeholders by mapping them based on the power and
interest they wield on a project. The framework, therefore, identifies
proponents and opponents of the projects and seeks to find ways of changing
opponents into supporters by offering appropriate changes to the project
mission (Winch, 2010).

Once the stakeholder map has been
drawn, the power/interest matrix structure depicted can be used to develop the
strategy towards the management of various identified stakeholders. The matrix
consists four categories of possible stakeholder placement, however, their
position is context specific in relation to the project. The four categories
are: keep informed, keep satisfied, key players and minimal effort. From this
perspective, not only are the stakeholders identified but their potential
movement between categories and the effects of handling them are also
identified.

3.4 Justification

I chose the aforementioned
frameworks because I felt that the identification and categorization of
stakeholders were neglected during the BIS project. This may not have been
deliberate, however, the consequence of such action has led to problems such as
agency costs post project implementation. Therefore, having a framework in
place is key in avoiding them when managing future projects that I will be
involved in.

4 Reflective ideas and
insights

Looking back at the implementation
of the payroll and human resource implementation of the BIS project, the
emphasis was placed more on the technical success of the implementation. Having
a sensitive system that impacted on the human capital of the company brought
with it queries post project that led to many post-implementation alterations
to the system. Table 2 shows some of the perceived stakeholders that were
regarded as important during the project however, the uncategorized list was
not extensive enough to warrant it being called a thorough stakeholder listing
as shown by the list of unconsidered stakeholders. The latter were stakeholders
who emerged as the project proceeded and were mostly interacted with during the
post-project era. BIS Project Perceived Stakeholders BIS Project Unconsidered
Stakeholders

5 Classification of
Project Stakeholders

However, it is not enough to
simply identify the stakeholders. Upon reflection, categorization of these
stakeholders was necessary in order to distinguish their importance to the
project and after the fact. Applying the Winch (2010) framework for classifying
internal and external stakeholders would have helped to better understand the
impact of each stakeholder. Combining the Winch (2010) approach and the
Mitchell, Agle, and Wood (1997) framework may have given the classification
process more depth as the latter approach provides the aspect of risk
identification associated with stakeholders.

To aid in the identification and
classification process, the framework provided by Mitchell, Agle and Wood
(1997) may have proved helpful to the project team as it was clearly evident
that had the issue of identifying a comprehensive list of stakeholders come up,
it would have proved very difficult. By using the three attributes provided in
the framework, the team would have been able to determine the influence
potential interested parties would have had on the project list of ignoring
stakeholders, the central bank would have been identified as a stakeholder of
some influence by the nature of them being able to set statutory reserve
lending rates which would impact the calculation of personal loans taken by
employees that were processed by the payroll system.

 An enabler to this process is the diverse
nature of the project teams. Most projects include personnel from different
functional unit s of the company who come with different experiences from
varying projects across the company. Therefore, using their experience on past
projects could provide useful in the identification project.

6 Learning actions

From my post project working
experience, I have learned that stakeholder management during projects is an
important aspect that, although I am a software developer, it may have actually
saved me time and valuable company resources had it been done properly. I am
more enlightened by the importance of categorizing different stakeholders and
know which ones directly affect my work and which ones I need to pay attention
to. For example, had the project team not ignored statutory institutions as
stakeholders, we could have saved ourselves time during periods when the
government changed human resource and financial laws such as the case in BOZ
(2012) (Zambia’s national currency rebasing) which inevitably cost Zesco
Limited a lot of money post project. This would have inevitably saved the
company money and additional developer time as the alternative company
developed solutions may have been sort of time.

Another learning aspect is
applying the stakeholder map to the different stakeholders that we had during
the project. I know now, there are interdependencies between some of these
stakeholders. Grouping them based on interdependences would have provided me
with better insight into their level of interest and power of influence they
would have on the project. With this skill set, it will make it easier to plan
for the next upgrade of the system by way of having a strategy towards their
management.

The benefit I have derived from
learning about stakeholder management is that it has made me aware of the
additional actors in the entire project management process. Coming from a
technical background, it is very easy for me to focus on the implementation
however that is not the project in its entirety. The frustrations suffered post
project may have been avoided had we conducted a stakeholder analysis.

7 The implementation of
personal development plan (PDP)

I read this thing that Personal
development plan does not necessarily imply upward movement; rather, it is
about enabling individuals to improve their performance and reach their full
potential at each stage of their career. Personal development planning is the
process of establishing aims and objectives or goals what you want to achieve
or where you want to go, in the short, medium or long-term in your career
assessing current realities identifying needs for skills, knowledge or
competence selecting appropriate development activities to meet those perceived
needs.

7.1 ACTION CHECKLIST

·        
Establish your purpose or direction

·        
Identify development needs

·        
Identify learning opportunities

·        
Formulate an action plan

·        
Undertake the development

·        
Record the outcomes

·        
Evaluate and review

8 Conclusion

In conclusion, the personal
development takes place in the context of institutions which refers to the
methods, programs, tools, techniques, and assessment systems that support human
development at the individual level organisation. A personal development plan
is a meticulously designed program which uses psychological tools such as the
Personal Effectiveness Scale and created in order to create an understanding
between a reviewer and an employee of an organisation on important areas of
development keeping in mind the ways in which these needs would be supported. 

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