Shareholders - Complete Controller

The dynamic between the people in the middle of a project and the people who are investing in that project is fragile. The people working on the project are represented by a project manager, who, in turn, has the unenviable task of keeping strict control of the project’s overall goals so that they do not change over time.

What do shareholders expect from management?

What does a shareholder want from management? Here are some shareholder expectations.

  • Stakeholders must receive updates of the project’s progress on a scheduled basis. This increases the likelihood that they will be supportive and the project goals will be achieved.
  • All interactions between the project manager and stakeholders should be formally recorded, and a record of the project’s current results should be kept. This is designed to secure stakeholder acceptance. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
  • S/he should log issues and changes in separate logs and communicate these to the stakeholders. Issue logs have a formal structure and have categories (issue groups) into which the issues are deposited. Change logs record all the changes that have taken place and the implication of those changes on the project’s goals and timeline. It can also include risks, costs, and budgets.
  • It is the project manager’s responsibility to keep negotiating with stakeholders and influencing their decisions so that the project goals are strictly adhered to. The project manager should ensure that each stakeholder understands all the issues in the issue log. S/he should keep interactions constructive between the stakeholders themselves and also between the project team members.
  • The project manager should address stakeholder concerns in conjunction with the conflict manager. S/he should determine risks and threats to prevent conflicts and issues. The project manager can also find solutions by looking at change requests.
  • If changes are called for by the shareholders, then the project’s deliverables may change. In this case, you must include the necessary remedial measures and action plans in the change log. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
  • Involve other shareholders in the decision-making process. You may have already identified the best course of action; however, present your findings in such a way that you leave room for the shareholders to feel as if they have been involved in the process.

Some suggestions to satisfy shareholder expectations are:

  1. Ensure that project success is defined clearly, well before the project begins.
  2. Hold meetings with stakeholders in short intervals so that they are kept interested and see the value.
  3. Keep the project’s objective in mind when executing it.
  4. Be concise and brief at stakeholders’ meetings.
  5. Be transparent, such that nothing is kept hidden from the shareholders. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Conversely, management also has expectations of the shareholders, such as their playing the role of an oversight committee, such as giving guidance on how to run the company itself. Scandals, such as the Satyam Scandal, happen when the board of directors does not play the part of an oversight committee.

Management cannot eschew its responsibility. So, apart from its shareholders’ expectations, they are expected to behave in a manner that inspires confidence from the employees and other stakeholders.

  1. In recent years, there has been great dissatisfaction among investors and stakeholders in how the boards of several companies act as rubber stamps for management. This trend should be avoided. The board must act independently and as a guardian of shareholder and stakeholder interests.
  2. Finally, management’s expectations must be re-evaluated and changed periodically so that management and shareholders are on the same page. For effective corporate governance, there should be a healthy balance between the expectations from management and that of the shareholders.

Summary

Managing shareholders is what project management partly deals with. The project manager is responsible for managing shareholders’ expectations and resolving conflicts that arise, and finding and settling any and all issues that come up during the course of the project. A shareholder is always a stakeholder; however, a stakeholder may not necessarily be a shareholder.

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