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Project Management Happy Hour

PM Happy Hour is the place for frank and honest discussion about real world issues in project management. We do it in a way that’s not too dry, though it may get a bit salty from time to time.

Each episode, your hosts Kim Essendrup and Kate Anderson we will cover a problem faced in project management today, and share practical advice, real-life examples and the occasional project horror story.

Not only that, but every podcast is also an online class! Our host is a PMI Registered Education Provider, who has structured each podcast as an easy-to-listen-to lesson. To get credit, go to our web site at, purchase your class, take the test (based on the content from our podcast) and you get your PDU certificate instantly!

Aug 22, 2017

This week we talk about a tough subject – how to handle an outside senior stakeholder who wants to exert influence on your project. This can be very tough when that influence is contrary to decisions already agreed in the project by senior stakeholders, or if that influence is uninformed.


In this episode, Kate outlines a formula that she uses to effectively manage such requests. Following that 5 step formula results in the following response statement:

Knowing that we wanted to achieve [project success definition]

within [success criteria],

we looked at [new random request from the stakeholder]. 

This would give us [positive thing about random request].

However, with [the impacts of the request], 

it makes us [exceed constraint or missed objective].


For example:

Knowing that we wanted to obliterate the rebellion

By next Friday,

We looked at Lord Vader’s request to implement a swimming pool on the Death Star.

This would give us a great way to chill out once we rule the galaxy.

However, since this would have to replace the Tie fighter bay and delay completion of the main reactor,

It makes it impossible to destroy the rebellion by next Friday, and risks the rebel scum destroying the Death Star, since we would have no Tie fighter defense


Listen in to find out how you can effectively use this formula, whether or not you have a Death Star


In listener mail, we answer the question: If I want to break into the Project Management field, should I try to get a PM degree? Or try to get experience?


Want professional development units for the time you spent with us today? Come to our website at , look for Episode 007 and follow the link to register, pay a couple bucks and take your quiz. Pass our easy quiz, and you instantly get a cert for your 0.75 PDU’s! Subscribe and you can get PDU’s all the time!


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We love to hear about your tough PM issues, so please hit us up at and we’ll see if we can help you. If we use your question, we’ll send you a PM Happy Hour coaster you can enjoy at your next happy hour.


*Death Star, Tie fighters and Darth Vader are all copyright of Star Wars, Disney and people who could sue us into oblivion.