16Agile Stakeholder Management and Agile Contracts

STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS of managing any project successfully. A project is not successful unless it meets stakeholder expectations:

  • A classical plan‐driven project sometimes assumes that meeting the defined requirements within the approved budget and schedule defines success; however, there have been many projects that have met their cost and schedule goals but failed to deliver an acceptable level of business value to the client. It’s dangerous to assume that requirements documents accurately reflect the needs of all important stakeholders.
  • Agile projects sometimes assume that the Product Owner totally represents all stakeholder interests and that is not necessarily the case either:
    • The role of the Product Owner is designed to make the project execution more efficient by putting a representative of the business users directly in contact with the project team, but it is very dangerous to assume that eliminates the need to talk directly to stakeholders outside of the project team.
    • As an example, there have been many Agile projects that have gotten totally consumed with developing an important application and completely neglected the need to engage others involved in the release process to successfully release and support the application once it is complete.
    • In large, complex projects, it is particularly challenging for a single Product Owner to represent all of the potential stakeholders ...

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