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How Effectively are You Managing Your Stakeholders?

Some best practices to manage stakeholders and get what you need to implement your projects.

Managing the expectations of stakeholders is a key responsibility for all project managers. The better that a project manager understands her stakeholders – their goals and objectives for the project, their expectations, how they want to be involved, etc. – the more likely she can anticipate their reactions to the project as it progresses.

By regularly communicating with stakeholders – even outside of the regularly scheduled stakeholder update meetings – the project manager will develop stronger relationships with them which makes managing their expectations a much easier effort!

Most important in managing stakeholders is developing strong relationships with them and:

  • Communicating clearly and effectively in ways that works for them
  • Presenting data in a way that works for the stakeholder to comprehend what is needed and what they  need to do in the way of providing information or making a decision
  • Utilizing strong problem solving skills by bringing solutions to problems to stakeholder meetings

Build relationships with your stakeholders through understanding their own challenges and goals and linking the project back to how it might help them achieve their goals or address their challenges.

Here are some ways to help you manage your stakeholders:

  • Utilize a stakeholder register to track each stakeholder and contact information as well as their requirements and expectations for the project.
  • Take the time to meet each stakeholder – either in person or via a virtual format. Get to know them and let them get to know you and the rest of the team. This helps to build trust between you, the team and the stakeholders.
  • Develop an overview communication plan for how you will communicate with stakeholders in order to share project information with them and/or to spend time with them to capture requirements.
  • When a problem arises on the project, share that there is a problem as well as your plan to address the problem.
  • When the project is complete, invite the stakeholders to a lessons learned discussion.

These are just a few simple ways to engage your stakeholders and keep them engaged and committed to the project.

Everyone benefits from learning how to apply project management best practices to getting their work accomplished. You don’t need to be a project manager to better manage your workload overall! Contact Gina Abudi at Abudi Consulting Group to learn more about our one day virtual upcoming virtual workshop or learn more and register today for the October 29, 2014 workshop.