Projects must make a difference - and that difference must be about behaviour.
If a project means nothing to people it is rarely important enough to be completed at all.
Project management is above all about communication
The notion of specification, development and implementation as a sequence of events towards change is tempting but unrealistic.
The genie is out as soon as the first thought is aired and the first questions posed.
Receptiveness for a solution - small or large - does not emerge from one day to an other.
Usually the prevailing modus vivendi has had months and years to root itself. Often it is a product of long term influence from numerous sources in and outside an organisation. For that reason a desire to establish a new modus vivendi will rarely have any impact from just a single speech. Therefore communication can almost only start too late. And in any case it is one of the first activities to plan.
There is countless projects which have been both over budget and late and perhaps even beyond the planned scope, which nevertheless are characterised as successes.
Subjectivity is unconditionally the stakeholders' privilege!
Yet an argument for putting communication at the top of the project manager's agenda.
Like for information it is the receiver's experience, which determines the quality of project deliverables. And those deliverables may be ever so much on spec. If the receiver or user is disappointed you missed it.
It is possible that the project is defined by clear project deliverables. But at the end of the day it is the effect of these deliverables, which determines if the project is a success. And the actual usage of the deliverables depend more on the receivers in the organisation than on the members of the project team.
Consequently user involvement must be part of the communication effort as soon as possible.