What is Stakeholder Engagement
The role of managing projects isn’t an easy one. Often Project Management Professionals (PMP) are required to deal with difficult stakeholders. Professionals engage in bridging the gap between the requirements of stakeholders and team’s competency. To do this it is essential for professionals to engage with stakeholders to gain a clear understanding of the requirements and align the goals of a project with that of the organization.
Every organization devises a strategy to enhance its relationship with the stakeholders. However, at times, stakeholders can be difficult to manage and can create roadblocks for smooth functioning of the project. For detecting such difficult shareholders, project managers need to pay close attention to them. This helps in determining to what extent stakeholders communicate and share feedback regarding the project.
Stakeholder Management Strategy to deal with difficult Stakeholders
Let us have a look at few strategies that project management professionals can apply while managing such stakeholders.
- Be observant:
Professionals need to understand their stakeholders as they are the ones directly affected by the way a project is carried out. Therefore, it is necessary for professionals to analyze what stakeholders require and find ways to motivate them during the course of the project. The common practice followed by professionals is to categorize the stakeholders based on their role in the project and the authority they possess.
- Be an active listener:
Professionals need to keep their communication channels open always even if they don’t like to communicate with certain stakeholders. Although their opinions might be frustrating it is important for professionals to step into the shoes of a stakeholder and understand them better. While they give opinions, professionals need to analyze whether their views align with the objectives of the project.
- Have one-to-one meetings:
Engaging with stakeholders in a face-to-face meeting is a better option than communicating on the phone or via e-mail. This assists professionals in having a more clear and calm conversation, lifting the negative effects of having conversations during group meetings. Meeting one-on-one helps professionals to question their opinions regarding the progress of the project.
- Effectively communicate:
It is not possible for professionals to work together with a large group of stakeholders. Traditional project managers would use pin-ups in common areas to assist stakeholders and the team to know about the changes in projects. In the present scenario, Project Management Professionals need to effectively communicate with stakeholders and ensure that they are on the same page.
- Involve stakeholders while preparing estimates:
In the planning phase of the project, professionals can engage with stakeholders while preparing estimates of cost and schedule. This brings in the feeling of transparency among stakeholders and builds their trust. Also, while preparing estimates certain aspects can be determined only as the project progresses. Professionals are required to communicate this information beforehand to avoid future conflicts.
Project management professionals are bound to listen to the needs of the stakeholders and manage the project as per the requirements. Not doing so might negatively impact the organization in terms of reputation and revenues. Hence, professionals need to build their relationships with all the stakeholders and motivate them to consistently to ensure smooth flow of the project in the long run. In today’s digital era, professionals can make use of various tools that help in building engagement with stakeholders.
Importance of training in stakeholder management
Project managers can master the art of stakeholder engagement by pursuing the PMP Training course. Earning the PMP Certification awarded by Project Management Institute helps project managers to have command over various aspects in the field of project management. During PMP Certification Training sessions, project managers master the art of handling projects in accordance with the latest practices of the industry.