Influencing the organization

According to PMBOK, Influencing the Organization involves the ability to “get things done.” It requires an understanding of both the formal and informal structures of all the organizations involved—the performing organization, customer, partners, contractors, and numerous others, as appropriate. Influencing the organization also requires an understanding of the mechanics of power and politics.

Both power and politics are used here in their positive senses. Pfeffer defines power as “the potential ability to influence behavior, to change the course of events, to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things that they would not otherwise do.” In similar fashion, Eccles et al. say that “politics is about getting collective action from a group of people who may have quite different interests. It is about being willing to use conflict and disorder creatively. The negative sense, of course, derives from the fact that attempts to reconcile these interests result in power struggles and organizational games that can sometimes take on a thoroughly unproductive life of their own.”