Problem Solving & Decision Making

Welcome to Project
Management
Essentials
Topic: Problem Solving &
Decision Making

Today’s Agenda
Quick Recap of Previous Week’s Topic (Topic 1 – The Project Manager)
Identifying Key Project Stakeholders (& critically evaluating them)
Stakeholder Influence Map
• Individual Activity: Case study – Identify internal & external stakeholders/mapping
of stakeholders (Mendelow Matrix)
BREAK
Successful Stakeholder Management
• Group Activity: Case Study: Space Shuttle Disaster
Managing Stakeholder Engagement within a Complex Environment
• Group activity: Hofstede Country Comparisons
• Review of Apply Activity
• Recap, Q&A, Discussion
• Next steps

Previous Week Recap – The
Project Manager
Identify the role project managers perform in
organisations
Discuss the main challenges project managers face in
the current business climate
Recognise the importance of management skills to be
effective
Identify ways in which management behaviours an
impact organisational success

Today’s Learning
Outcomes
Critically evaluate the importance of identifying key
project stakeholders
Understand how to construct a stakeholder influence
map
Critically evaluate benefits to successful
stakeholder management
Judge how to manage stakeholder’s engagement within
a complex environment

Problem Solving and
Decision Making

What is a stakeholder and why is it important
that we critically evaluate them?
• What is a stakeholder?
• Difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder
• Stakeholders can be both internal and external
• Important to critically evaluate them as they can
impact a project both positively and negatively
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The Project Manager and the Stakeholder
According to Maylor (2010 p46),
“Managing stakeholders… is widely
recognized as a core task for the
project manager”.
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Stakeholder Influence Map
Stakeholder Influence
• Effective engagement of stakeholders is
important
• Influence relies heavily on relationships being
built and maintained
• A stakeholder influence map can be used as a
tool to assist project managers
• There are several different models that can be
used
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The Mendelow Matrix (1991)

Power
Low
Minimal effort Keep Informed
Power
High
Keep satisfied Key players
Low Interest High Interest

Individual: Case Study
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Power
• Power should also be understood
• Organisations are political entities
• Political competence is a key skill which
managers should develop
• Central to political influence is power
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Power – French & Raven (1959)
• Five Sources of Power:
• Legitimate
• Reward
• Coercive
• Referent (charismatic)
• Expertise
• These categories can also be further split
into personal and positional power
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Influence
• Power can be converted to influence
• This is a skill and a key one for project managers
• Hinges on engendering support and commitment
from others, rather than resistance and
resentment
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Influence – strategies

Strategies Direct Approach Indirect Approach
Retribution: Force others to do
what you say
Coercion (threaten) Intimidation (pressure)
Reciprocity Bargaining (exchange) Ingratiation (obligate)
Reason Present facts (or needs) Appeal to personal values what
you say (or goals)

Influence
• Nine tactics that people use when influencing
subordinates, bosses, colleagues (Yukl & Falbe,
1990)
• Rational persuasion
• Inspirational appeal
• Consultation
• Ingratiation
• Exchange
• Personal appeal
• Coalition
• Legitimating
• Pressure
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Influence
• Another type of strategy to influence is via the
use of formal and informal networks (Boddy,
2014):
• Practioners
• Privileged Power
• Ideological
• People-oriented
• Strategic
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Break Time – 15 minutes
Successful Stakeholder
Management

Successful stakeholder
management
• Successfully stakeholder management is
a key component of project success
• Solving problems analytically and
creatively
• Decision making ability
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Analytical Problem Solving
(Whetton & Cameron, 2016)
1. Define the problem
2. Generate alternative solutions
3. Evaluate and select an alternative
4. Implement and follow up on solutions
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Creative Problem Solving
Flexibility
Internal External
Control

Incubation
Be Sustainable
Imagination
Be New
Improvement
Be Better
Investment
Be First

Four Types of Creativity
Source: Whetten & Cameron (2016) – adapted from DeGraff & Lawrence (2002)
Decision Making
Source: Boddy (2014, Fig 7.1, pg 203)
Decision Making
Source: Boddy (2014, Fig 7.2, pg 204)
Decision Making
Source: Boddy (2014, Fig 7.5, pg 212)
Decision Making Models

Model Type Strategy
Rational (economic) Computational
Administrative/incremental/intuitive Judgemental
Political Compromise
Garbage can Inspirational

Source: Boddy (2014) based on Thompson (1967), p 134
Decision Making Models
Contingency Model of Decision Making (Vroom &
Yetton (1973)
• Autocratic
• Information seeking
• Consulting
• Negotiating
• Group
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Bias
• Bias (based on Boddy, 2014)
• Prior Hypothesis
• Representativeness
• Optimism
• Illusion of control
• Escalating commitment
• Emotional attachment
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Group Activity: Space Shuttle Disaster
Managing Stakeholder
Engagement within a
Complex Environment

Stakeholders & Complex Environments
• Globalisation adds a unique dimension to
managing projects
• Changes the dynamics of a project
• Cultural differences
• Multinational economic transactions
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Stakeholders Engagement
• Contextual Awareness
• Cultural Awareness
• Communication Skills
• Conflict Resolution Skills

Supportive Communication
• Congruent not incongruent
• Descriptive not evaluative
• Problem oriented not person oriented
• Validating not invalidating
• Specific not global
• Conjunctive not disjunctive
• Owned not disowned
• Supportive not one way
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Cultural Awareness – Hofstede
(National Culture, 1973)
Original survey:
• Power Distance
• Individualism/ Collectivism
• Uncertainty Avoidance
• Masculinity/ Femininity
Added Later:
• Long/Short Term Orientation
• Indulgence
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Cultural Awareness – Hofstede
(National Culture, 1973)
• The Hofstede Insights web site contains
much useful information including a
feature for comparing countries
• Using the scores on different dimensions,
countries may be grouped

Group Activity: National Cultures Exercise
Review of Apply
Activity

Apply Activity Instructions
Assessment (Task 2) – LO1 Problem Solving & Decision Making – (12 marks)
For your assignment you will act in the role of a Project Consultant where you are required to develop a project
report for the Smart City OS project (case study provided) by leveraging on the techniques and concepts you
have covered in the module.
Identify relevant stakeholders and create a stakeholder influence map for the Smart City OS project and discuss
why these are the most critical stakeholders emerging from your analysis. Afterwards, by leveraging the
academic literature and similar real projects, critically discuss how you engage the stakeholders you have
identified with the Smart City OS project.
Discussion Forum (100 words)
Answer the following questions in the discussion forum and comment the answers of your peers (comment on at
least one answer):
What is a stakeholder in a project management context and why is it important to identify them? (max 50 words)
What are some of the ways in which we can manage and engage stakeholders? (max 50 words)

Recap, Q&A,
Discussion

Key Takeaways
You should be now be able to:
• Have confidence with the Module structure
• Critically evaluate the importance of
identifying key project stakeholders
• Understand how to construct a stakeholder
influence map
• Critically evaluate benefits to
successful stakeholder management
• Judge how to manage stakeholder’s
engagement within a complex environment

Next Steps
• Review this topic
• Go through the Preparation and Apply part of this week (if
not done yet)
• Go through the Consolidation part of this week
• Go through the Preparation and Apply part of next week
Prepare Task 2 of your Assessment
• See you next week same time!

Assignment status: Already Solved By Our Experts

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