How to make stakeholder management easier
Scroll down to see a short video on stakeholder prioritization.
Dear readers, you are facing some very difficult issues in your teams right at this moment.
Check out some of the comments I received from my recent reader survey.
“The greatest challenge I face right now is getting buy-in from management, the team, and planning for projects especially complex ones, especially the communication gaps between cross-functional departments, getting right resources, and identifying and interviewing key stakeholders in the initiating stage.”
“My biggest challenge is sponsor engagement or the lack thereof with expectations that I’ll keep this project moving forward.”
This is a scenario I can certainly sympathize with.
Senior management and key stakeholders are provided with project information. They don’t consume the information. Instead of the provided information, they make assumptions and make decisions based on their emotions. Take this example:
Sponsor: “You promised the Client the wrong delivery date!”
Me: “Um, no. I promised the date in the Statement of Work we negotiated with Client. It has been published on the Project Wiki Page for the past six months.”
Manager: “Your project has been underfunded. You didn’t budget properly.”
Me: “Um, no. We requested $50k. Our budget request was reduced to $15k by senior management. You didn’t show up to the budget meeting, even though I invited you.”
To help you build better working relationships with your stakeholders, I have created a Stakeholder Management Masterclass (only available until 30 November 2017). Scroll down to find out more.
Engagement with stakeholders is difficult. I know this. You also know that. It is something we live every day.
We still try…
I did some research last year on why stakeholder engagement is difficult. Here are the results.
Stakeholder management is too time-consuming
Nearly half of my respondents to my research said that they don’t have the time or resources to manage stakeholder relations and develop appropriate engagement strategies.
This is partly a lie. If you really want to do something well enough and believe in it, you will find the time. It’s also because stakeholder engagement can take so much longer if there is no clear plan.
Management support is not available to you
45% of respondents reported that they did not have management support for stakeholder engagement.
You don’t really need it 99% of the times. You need the confidence to do the job well and make the connections.
Your manager can also be included in your stakeholder circle. They can be engaged at the same time with your other project stakeholders.
You don’t know where to start
Many people are unable to understand the nature of stakeholder engagement. Where do you begin if you don’t know where to start? It can be especially frustrating when it all seems like politics or people trying to get you to do their jobs.
This will stop being a problem if you understand what stakeholder management is and what steps you must take to engage the people with whom you work.
Stakeholder engagement doesn’t have to be a problem if you want better project results. One respondent stated that “More smiles equals fewer tears.”
I can help you with that, which is the good news.
Take the Stakeholder Management Masterclass
To help you build better working relationships with stakeholders, I have created a Masterclass in Stakeholder Management. This is your guide to navigate the complex terrain of stakeholder relationships. I wish I could give you the formulae for every situation. But, because every stakeholder and every company is unique, there are no universal rules.
I can only help you to build trust and relationships with your stakeholders so that you can make the right decisions about which direction to go.
You will know what to do, how to do it and how to choose what to do.