Engaging Stakeholders for ​Project Success

Like it or not stakeholders are an essential part of whether a project succeeds or fails. If inappropriately engaged, stakeholders may become disinterested, or even worse, against the project altogether. Using of a well thought out and executed stakeholder engagement plan can ensure stakeholders become project enablers and supporters.

Often stakeholders become disenfranchised or against a project due to the project team not understanding the priorities or outcomes of the project. It is vital to understand the values and issues that stakeholders have, in order to address them and keep everyone informed and involved throughout the project phases.

There are three reasons why investing in stakeholder management is worthwhile:

  • Communication can be efficiently focused where it is needed most
  • Stakeholders are a major influence in the success or failure of a project, their attitudes and actions can have significant positive or negative consequences
  • If a project does not have adequate buy-in from stakeholders that provide resources it is likely to run into problems

Below is a 4 step method to improve stakeholder engagement

Step 1 Identify Stakeholders:
Key Benefit: Allows the project manager to determine the appropriate focus required for each stakeholder or group of stakeholders.

Step 2 – Plan Stakeholder Management:
Key Benefit: Provides a clear, actionable plan to interact with project stakeholders to maximise support and minimize resistance

Step 3 – Manage Stakeholder Engagement
Key Benefit: Allows the project manager to increase support and minimise resistance from stakeholders, significantly increasing the chances to achieve project success

Step 4 Control Stakeholder Engagement:
Key Benefit: Maintain or increase the efficiency and effectiveness of stakeholder engagement activities as the project evolves and its environment changes

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