The UK National Audit office (NAO) lists over-optimism, including over-optimism about stakeholders as one of the key factors behind the failure of government projects.
In their December 2013 report, Over-optimism in Government Projects the NAO listed stakeholders as a particular risk area.
The report found that government projects require involvement from a variety of organizations and bodies. These stakeholders often have widely varying aspirations and requirements (NAO, 2013, pg 8).
Typical government stakeholders
- Local authorities
- Special interest groups
- the time it will take for sufficient stakeholder engagement
- the project team's ability to align the different views
- the behaviours of groups – government project teams tend to make assumptions about the behaviours of groups over whom they have no direct control.
- their level of understanding of the stakeholders. This leads to failure to understand the impact and value added by the stakeholders.
FiReControl Project - Over-optimism about stakeholder buy-in leads to project failure
The National Audit Office report gives an example of the FiReControl project where the project failed to get the support of key stakeholders the local fire and rescue services.
Over-optimism about stakeholder buy-in led to the project being cancelled with a loss of at least £482 million.
About the National Audit OfficeThe National Audit Office (NAO) is a UK body that scrutinises spending on behalf of parliament. Each year they publish value for money studies reviewing government projects, programmes and imitative and providing recommendations for improvement.
References for Government projects - stakeholder optimismNAO, 2013, Over-optimism in Government Projects Available online at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/10320-001-Over-optimism-in-government-projects.pdf
Stakeholder Management ResourcesGovernment stakeholders - a list of potential stakeholders on government projects
Stakeholder analysis templates in Word, Visio and Excel.
Stakeholder Analysis - How to analyse stakeholders
Internal Stakeholders - how to identify your Internal Stakeholders
Stakeholders - who are the Key Players? - Some Stakeholders are really important. How do you find them and get them on your side before they can do any damage?
Project stakeholders - typical stakeholders on a project
Stakeholder list - a generic list of stakeholders. Stakeholder mindmap - a mindmap showing stakeholders for an IT project.