Politics in Project Management

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Joined: Sun 16 Mar 2014 4:48 am

I'm an amateur who in working in an organization as a sorta Project Manager. Yes, so I'm not actually a certified PM, or working for a company that provides PM services for clients. Rather, my organization has a project and my role is never clearly defined, but I find myself "in-charge" at least when my boss isn't taking charge or when nobody is clearly in-charge. We have an external vendor working for us.

Is it just in situations like mine that there is a dose of politics?

In working on the project, we have many internal stakeholders to meet and various reps from supporting units like IT, HR et cetera. At times I find them feeling like they want more out of this project and to use it as a platform for their career. This can take the form of trying to talk a lot during meetings, putting inputs on matters that aren't really their domain but because they are present at the meetings, establishing power bases with one another, making comments to show they are working hard, but the project is not going too well because of other things which would make people believe others are hindering progress, appearing when credit is available, going into the shadows when there is a fear there might be trouble, so on and on. For example, when the mood seems down, more comments about how such-and-such is really busy with a lot of other stuff and that this project isn't his only focus, appearing forced to attend these meetings.

I hope my description is sensible. I'm not really good with describing. But I don't think I'm paranoid.

These politics can hurt me too, because I find it hard to balance the earning of respect, getting people to work for the project, having them not sabotage me or badmouth me, having to give credit and listen to people promoting themselves and so on. The hardest part is when I feel like some people are trying to make me look bad because they want the project.

Any advice on how to cope?
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