Why stakeholder management is crucial to keeping your project on track.

Artwork shows word together to represent stakeholder management

 

Stakeholder management is, as anyone who has run a successful project before will tell you, a crucial factor when it comes to getting a positive outcome from a project.

Taking stakeholder’s opinions, ideas, and perspectives on decisions into consideration are necessary steps when building and maintaining a constructive working environment for all parties involved in the project.

 

 

Do the right thing

It is, however, key to note that you shouldn’t bow down to all demands that are made by your stakeholders – this could be of detriment to your project. As the project manager, you’ve got to stick to your guns on the big decisions if it’s the right thing to do!

The people sitting around your table, the board, whoever you are working with; often approach the priorities and management of a project from entirely different perspectives.

If you’re struggling to take on everyone’s opinions at once, it’s important to remember that the project itself is not a popularity contest – the end goal is always to have a successful project that is completed on time and to budget. If some stakeholders aren’t happy about the way in which you get to the destination, keep in mind that the legacy of the project is the most significant aspect. This will live on far longer than a few disagreements!

“keep in mind that the legacy of the project is the most significant aspect. This will live on far longer than a few disagreements!”

Keep the goal in sight

The internal management of all those involved is critical for a successful project. Focusing on what it is that your client group is seeking to achieve can be challenging when every single person sitting around the table has a different opinion.

Every project will have a different profile and a different attitude to risk – it won’t be an easy task to keep everyone on the same page, but you should be able to stand up and be prepared to say ‘no!’ if an idea comes your way that you believe will derail the project. As we mentioned earlier, it’s not about going out of your way to keep everyone happy; it’s about completing the project!

Review and learn

To become a better project manager, and to refine any communication or relationship issues that may have arisen in the past systematically reviewing your progress is a useful process. You’ve always got to be looking back and retrospectively considering changes that could have been made to make the project run better so that you can learn from each experience. If you can build up an extensive repertoire of techniques to help manage your stakeholders and get the most out of them, you’ll be in a much stronger position moving forward.

Self-reflection and building general assessment process into a project review is essential. Looking back at what you have done previously. Take time to look at other projects; not just in your professional area but in other fields as it will broaden your view.

If you’re looking to improve your collaboration between stakeholders and the project management office, Verto’s cloud-based project management software could be vital to winning at stakeholder management. Stay in touch with us, follow us on LinkedIn and chat with us on Twitter to learn more about our ideas and software!