Brad Bigelow, a PRINCE2 V7 Author, highlights the unique position of project managers (PMs) in organizational projects, especially in the context of stakeholder management and communication. He notes that often, the project manager may be the only constant figure in a project, particularly in long-term projects. This is because stakeholders and team members frequently change over the course of a project, especially in roles like finance or contracts, which are more transactional and only engaged at specific times.
Bigelow points out that due to the turnover of personnel and the transient nature of stakeholder involvement, the understanding of the project's core purpose and details can become diluted. In many instances, the PM ends up being the custodian of this critical knowledge. He emphasizes the challenge of misinformation within projects, distinguishing it from the more deliberate disinformation prevalent in today's environment. Misinformation often arises from stakeholders' lack of continuous involvement, leading to misunderstandings about the project's direction, goals, or methods.
This situation underscores the importance of communication in project management. Bigelow suggests that maintaining clear and consistent communication can help rectify misunderstandings and re-align stakeholder perceptions with the project's objectives. He stresses that if a project is fundamentally sound, then issues raised by stakeholders are often not about the need for changes in the project's baseline but are more about challenges in communication and stakeholder relationship management. Keeping stakeholders informed and engaged is crucial, especially when assessing whether issues need to be escalated into changes or if they can be resolved through improved communication and relationship management.