Something outside project control is holding up progress


Various stakeholders in a project have their own various priorities, some outside of the project.  These priorities do not always mesh well with those of the project.  The project can be held up where a stakeholder whose input is needed treats the project as a low priority.  Occasionally the holdup is owing to a stakeholder that had not previously been identified.  Anyone that can hold up the project is, by definition, a stakeholder.


One of the most common problems of this class is where the business people that understand the business and have the ability to provide the user requirements for the project cannot make time away from their ‘real work’ to provide, discuss and clarify their requirements.  There is some overlap between this topic and DecisionsNotForthcoming.

Prevention, Amelioration, Cure


It is useful to have a ‘champion’ for the project, somebody with seniority that can act in a PatronRole to the project, and deal with barriers to progress both within and outside the project.  Identification of stakeholders, and work with them to achieve their ‘buy in’ to the project, is necessary in the early stages of the project. This can help prevent problems later.  The specific problems of holdups arising from untimely customer input can be addressed by using a CustomerInterface.


Modern methods tend to prevent external barriers to progress from the customer or business by ensuring stakeholder buy in at an early stage.  Explicit patterns include CustomerOnSite.  Nevertheless, PatronRole can still be of use.