Here two types of politics have to be considered.

Firstly there are the internal politics which inevitably occur in all organizations whether governmental, commercial, industrial or academic and which manifest themselves in the opinions and attitudes of the different stakeholders in these organizations. The relationships to the project by these stakeholders can vary from the very supportive to the downright antagonistic, but depending on their field of influence, must be considered and managed. Even within an apparently cohesive project, team jealousies and personal vested interests can have a disruptive influence which the project manager has to recognize and diffuse.

The fact that a project relies on clients, consultants, contractors (with their numerous subcontractors) material and services suppliers, statutory authorities and of course the end user, all

Figure 4.1 The project environment

of which may have their own agenda and preferences, gives some idea of the potential political problems that may occur.

The second type are the external politics over which neither the sponsor nor the project manager may have much, if any, control. Any project which has international ramifications is potentially subject to disruption due to the national or international political situation. In the middle of a project, the government may change and impose additional import, export or exchange restrictions, impose penal working conditions or even cancel contracts altogether. For overseas construction contracts in countries with inherently unstable economies or governments, sudden coups or revolutions may require the whole construction team to be evacuated at short notice. Such a situation should have been envisaged, evaluated and planned for as part of the political risk assessment when the project was first considered.

Even on a less dramatic level, the political interplay between national and local government, lobbyists and pressure groups has to be taken into consideration as can be appreciated when the project consists of a road by-pass, reservoir, power station or airport extension.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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