Engaging, managing & marketing to stakeholders in project environments

Stakeholders are an important part of quality project management. Using the terms “marketing”, “management” and “engagement” interchangeably is however problematic. Management assumes the important decisions have already been made, engagement assumes these decisions are still open for stakeholders to influence. In project management, “management” is particularly useful in building and construction environments – where “hard systems” dominate decision making around design.  For other projects, where the end users play a major role in the project’s benefits realisation (such as IT projects), “engagement” is more useful. “Marketing” is simply influencing people to accept a predetermined outcome and should not be confused with either stakeholder engagement or management.

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