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Project Management Quick Take

Improve Stakeholder Management and Communication

 

Video Transcript

Improve Stakeholder Management and Communication

Hi, my name is Leah Paras and I'm a trainer and consultant with Corporate Education Group.

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As a project manager, it’s important to be an efficient communicator and liaison, especially when it comes to your stakeholders. Stakeholders directly influence the progression and outcome of your project and that’s why effective stakeholder management and communication is a critical success factor.

Before we delve into some tactics for project stakeholder management and communication, let’s talk a little about how to identify your stakeholders. Remember, the identification process is almost as important as the relationships you build with these individuals. Stakeholders often offer support or resistance to the project at various times and anticipating these influences is essential.

According to The Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, also known as the PMBOK® Guide, stakeholders are “any individual, group or organization who may affect, be affected by or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity or outcome of a project.” Keep in mind, your list should include BOTH internal stakeholders (like the project team and the project sponsor) and external stakeholders. During the identification process, engage your project team to help.

Once you know who your stakeholders are, create a subsidiary plan for managing and communicating with those individuals and groups. Use these four approaches to define your plan:

  • Clarify the nature of their interest — which project deliverables are they interested in?
  • Clarify the nature of their influence — are they for or opposed to the project?
  • Catalog their requirements and/or concerns.
  • Create engagement tactics — can you develop personal relationships with positive stakeholders and attempt to win-over negative stakeholders?

With your finger on the pulse of your stakeholders, you should be able to reduce scope creep, ensure project requirements are aligned, understand tolerance for risk, and mitigate issues that could delay the project. Superior stakeholder management is not only a testament to your capabilities, it’s a key factor for a healthy project environment.