Aurangzeb Khan

Paper and presentation: Role, Challenges and Limitations of Communications in Project Stakeholder Management and Engagement

Abstract: Communication consistently ranks amongst the top critical success factors identified in practically all of the numerous project performance surveys undertaken across the globe over time. Considered the life blood of every project, its importance is universally acknowledged by project practitioners. No project can be accomplished successfully in the absence of good communication which is sustained over the entire project life-cycle. In fact, communication assumes added importance and criticality with increasing project technical, social and environmental complexity. Yet, communicational deficiencies continue to overshadow and seriously impede many projects resulting for them, inter alia, in cost and schedule overruns, unwanted scope modifications, staff demotivation and reputational damage, and a significantly higher risk of project failure. Consequently, an effort must be made to explore and critically analyze from the perspective of the project stakeholders, both primary and secondary, the specific role communication plays on projects along with the myriad accompanying challenges and limitations it poses as well as ways and means by which these challenges and limitations can be managed.

For this study the authors have reviewed over twenty large-scale projects primarily in civil infrastructure development. Projects falling under this category have the advantage of typically having a comparatively very sizeable and diverse community of primary and especially secondary stakeholders which makes the creation of complex communicational nets necessary and which consequently opens up the opportunity for gaining more interesting insights through multidimensional exploration and analysis. The authors look in detail at the process of communication between stakeholders and the key factors which condition its effectiveness as well as offer various practical and specific suggestions as to how to the quality of communication on projects can be improved. Projects can hence benefit through the insights offered by this study into communicational dynamics which can help them shape their communication systems in a stakeholder-responsive manner and thereby enhance project effectiveness and efficiency.

PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership

Biography: Dr. Aurangzeb Khan is a Principal Research Officer in the Department of Management Sciences at COMSATS University Islamabad. He acquired his PhD in public administration from the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, Germany, in 2004. He also holds a degree in business administration from the University of Trier, Germany. Dr. Khan has worked for COMSATS University since 2005. He received his university’s best teacher award in 2007 and pioneered Pakistan’s first master degree programme in project management at his university in 2008. In 2010-11 he was a Fulbright postdoc scholar at the University of Maryland. His main area of research interest is project stakeholder management and engagement, a subject in which he is undertaking a research collaboration with UMD’s project management center of excellence since 2014. He presents the findings of this joint research at every UMD annual project management symposium.