Project Management

How Case Studies Can Assist Project Managers in Engaging Stakeholders

Often people define business as a gamble that is hard to play and tough to win. However, an experienced player can amend the rules and make a way to feat. To teach the same, management schools use case studies as a tool to address the complexities of real business world.

Case studies help in building analytical skills to evaluate, resolve and find an alternative for similar problems. With stakeholders taking far more interest in project management, change has become a crucial part of business community.

In this article at Association of Project Management, Ian Cribbes describe how project managers can design their next project using case study as a tool to deliver positive results while keeping the stakeholders engaged in the overall process.

Changing Process

By using project management case studies, project managers can design their new project plans. However, change is the need of the hour, so chuck the traditional methods and flex your arms towards new horizons. Here is how you can proceed in the new direction:

The Star Track

A case study describes a real-life scenario depicting Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) aspects. Similarly, a project should also reflect how the project manager reacts to the situation given to them by designing a set of tasks and actions to achieve desired results.

  1. Situation: At this stage, the project managers must analyze the company background and assigned project objectives to establish a clear picture of the expected result. Having a clear vision of project objective is as crucial to the stakeholders, teams, and project sponsors, as it is to the project managers, to escape wrong directions and failures. This stage will also help in analyzing the previous projects and circumstances to avoid pitfalls.
  2. Task: Clear vision opens new avenues to perform tasks that will lead to project accomplishment. However, to deliver successful projects, managers need to tactfully counter changing objectives and work towards handling changes beforehand. It will make the entire project process easier for the IT teams and business users. The task list of project managers also includes remote team management while escaping hindrances like time difference.
  3. Action: Once the situation and task is clear to the project managers, next step is to act upon it. The action may get disrupted if not communicated well to the teams. In fact, the project managers are responsible to establish seamless communication with everyone including the project sponsors. Often, limited understanding of project objective to the sponsors impact project progress, while the project managers are held responsible for it. However, it is challenging to ensure that the project sponsors are well-versed with their roles. Therefore, the project managers need to design a strategy with the project sponsors to deal with such situations that also includes resistance to change in future endeavors. Moreover, in the entire process, the project manager needs to keep stakeholders involved at each step to ensure progress towards the desired direction.
  4. Result: As the project moves towards the outcome, the project managers need to address issues pertaining to limited budget, time constraint, quality, and data management. However, ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the process is pivotal as customer feedback will decide growth or fall of the organization, not just the project.

Progress or failure of each project leaves huge amount of learning for the project managers and teams. The case study is one of the potential chapters in the entire learning process.

The author extends faith towards the overall chain of communication, trust and honesty to ensure smooth progress of the project. To review related case studies cited by the author in the original article, click on the link below:

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