In Chapter 2, we discussed what corporate strategy has to do with IT. Now we're going to look at how corporate politics impact IT projects and project management. As an IT project manager, you often lack formal, organizational authority to accomplish your project's objectives. This means that you have to know how your organization works, both formally (organizational chart) and informally (politics) in order to get the best possible results. Politics affect which projects get priority or get funded; politics impact which people and resources are assigned to projects, and politics certainly affect whether or not projects are successful. In this chapter, you'll learn why and how politics operate in organizations and you'll gain insight and knowledge that will help you navigate corporate politics more effectively. If you're anxious to jump right into IT project management, you can skip ahead to Chapter 5, but be sure to come back and read these first four chapters. They introduce you to critical concepts about the environment that surrounds all IT projects and will help your IT projects be more successful.
Some people thrive on corporate politics; others (including many in IT) would rather chew nails than get involved in company politics. The truth is, if you work for any companysmall, medium or largepolitics are a fact of life. Rather than hiding your head in the sand, you can actually learn how to handle politics with confidence and grace (well, most of the time). If you hate everything about corporate politics, this chapter is a must-read for you. You'll learn how to navigate the sometimes murky political waters and avoid most of the dangers along the way. After reading this chapter, you'll have the tools you need to succeed in a political environment, even if you really dislike company politics.