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When following PMBOK guideline, to manage stakeholder expectations, how does a project manager manage stakeholder expectations in in monitoring and controlling phase??? what kinds of techniques are used???? or how do they manage them?

It would be really good if you can provide me a link to further readings etc.

Furthermore, I do not clearly understand the distinction between things that are done in monitoring phase and things that are done in executing phase. It seems like monitoring phase is supplementing what's done in executing phase. Could please give me a precise distinction between what is happening in two phases?

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Fascinating question(s).

  1. How does a PM manage stakholder expectations in the M&C phase - same as during all other phases - communication. Stakeholder analysis reveals the stakeholder's primary concerns. In the best case, the PM will craft a Key Performance Indicator related to the stakeholder's concern, and will publish that KPI regularly, and make sure that the stakeholder is aware of the KPI. That serves as an opportunity for regular discussions with the stakeholder to ensure that the PM still has a clear and accurate picture of the stakeholder's needs. I think the best reference on this is probably Herding Cats - Glen Alleman isn't terse, but he thoroughly discusses how to build a framework to establish and trace metrics. I did a quick search on communications planning and stakeholder analysis. Lots of great resources, but only indirectly responsive to your question.

  2. What's the difference between M&C & E?

    • Execution does the work. The PM leads production (line/staff will "manage" the work, but the PM provides vision and motivation). Execution is nose to the grindstone effort to perform the plan. I'm not sure if the analogy will resonate with everyone, but execution is the job of the executive officer. Execution is operations.

    • Monitoring and control (according to the source I've cited, M&C take place as a part of execution, but I don't quite agree with that - I believe they take place in parallel.) M&C looks at the work being performed and looks forward to determine whether the work you're doing will accomplish the end/close the project successfully. In my opinion, M&C is the job of the commanding officer. M&C is strategy. Look at the key activities - change control, performance monitoring, procurement, etc.

If the plan were perfect, then execution would be 95% - everything we do would follow the plan. But no plan survives contract with reality; M&C is what determines how we adapt to the gap between plan and reality.

Looping back to your first question, M&C also produces the metrics and messages that we use to keep the stakeholders informed; that ensures that the stakeholders continue to support us.

  • I think it is worth to respond to your question. Thank you very much for the reply. However, for the question 1. So it seems that M&C is not a distinctive phase for managing stakeholder expectations. Since, communication would take place in executing stage anyway (and stakeholder analysis being done in initiating phase). This is really confusing because even in executing phase, it seems that there is a communication so I still have a vague idea as to whether what 's being done in M&C phase is different from what's being done in executing phase... (if both of them involve comm.) – Jane Doe May 10 '13 at 19:15
  • I think you have it. You're correct that you've got to manage stakeholder expectations throughout, not just in M&C. And perhaps it is better to say that during the M&C/E phase, the PM will perform a variety of functions that can be grouped into two related roles. – Mark C. Wallace May 13 '13 at 11:55
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When following PMBOK guideline, to manage stakeholder expectations, how does a project manager manage stakeholder expectations in monitoring and controlling phase??? what kinds of techniques are used???? or how do they manage them?

I'm going to go one step above your question first, then we can work backwards from there: To manage stakeholder expectations(p.59),which is a process in the Executing process group, you're going to take the following as input

  1. Stakeholder Register
  2. Stakeholder management strategy
  3. Project management plan
  4. Issue log
  5. Change log
  6. Organizational process assets

With the above you do the actual process of managing expectations, PMBOK lists the tools & techniques(p.59) as

  1. Communication methods
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Management skills

From that you output updates to the items listed as inputs above and change requests.

To your question,

how does a PM manage stakeholder expectations in M&C?

Short answer: You don't, you do it in the Executing process group.

Longer Answer: Here's some things that occur in Monitoring and Controlling that would affect stakeholder expectations and would need to be performed.

  1. Focus on changes and integrated change control. Any changes that occur in the project occur as a 'part' of M&C and therefore need to be communicated back to stakeholders. Any document updates that need to occur because of a change are performed and communicated to stakeholders during M&C.
  2. Reporting performance is also a portion of M&C (p.43,63). Since you are reporting performance to stakeholders, your communications concerning project performance against baselines and risks (and their associated updates) is another method of managing stakeholder expectations.

As a reminder, monitoring and controlling isn't a discrete process group, you're not just "in" M&C, you're also "in" Initiating, Planning, Executing, and/or Closing(p.42,44). It's a continuous thing you're doing throughout the project. Which should help answer your second question about what items are done where.

It would be really good if you can provide me a link to further readings etc.

Sure, the PMBOK is the place to find all this stuff, I sprinkled page number throughout for your reference. I'm looking at the 4th edition.

Furthermore, I do not clearly understand the distinction between things that are done in monitoring phase and things that are done in executing phase. It seems like monitoring phase is supplementing what's done in executing phase. Could please give me a precise distinction between what is happening in two phases?

Yes, it supplements all of the phases. Again, see the above description, but also PMBOK page 43, that chart should give you a quick view of what's occuring in each process group and help clarify things beyond what you've seen here.

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