“Stakeholder Engagement in Project Management: Building Positive Relationships”
The project management industry has intensified over the last few years and has become a popular tool in most organisations. To handle a project efficiently, it requires a good project manager, a project manager not only tracks all the project’s tasks but also maintains a good relationship with the involved stakeholders. And continuously communicate with them to maintain transparency between them. A good project manager also tries to ensure they are meeting stakeholders’ demands. This blog will explore who are stakeholders and why building positive relationships with them is important. Now let’s discuss who are stakeholders
Who are called stakeholders?
If you want to build a good relationship with the stakeholder, you should know who they are and what a stakeholder’s role is in a project. This has been noticed often most of the project managers fail to deliver the project on time, and the reason behind this is miscommunication. A stakeholder is an individual or an organisation who owns a right over the company’s share and has the right to decide on ongoing projects.
How can project managers build good relationships with the stakeholders?
- Identify for powerful influencer: To make a positive relationship with the stakeholders, you should spend some time with the stakeholders, try to meet with them stakeholder once a week and discuss with them the current status of the project. Try to communicate strongly with them and identify a powerful individual who can convince others and will describe the project’s scope to the involved members.
- Engage in one-to-one conversation: Spending hours after hours with the stakeholders doesn’t mean you can build a strong relationship with the stakeholders. Don’t rush; just be focused and concentrate on the quality of communication. Try to utilise t every professional meeting, and as stakeholders are very busy people, they always keep themselves busy lined-up meetings, so be prepared with what you want to discuss and what you want to address and be short with your proposal.
- Try to understand their world: It is important to gain their trust in you; if they understand that you will understand what they desire, they will share the things with you. So to do that, you need to understand them carefully and ask them what their requirements are and do they carry any experience in the specific fields; make them understand that their experience can also contribute to the project’s outcome. You can also approach them and ask them what they think about the successful projects.
- Talk with them confidently: If you want to build a strong relationship with the stakeholders, they must trust you. Then only they will participate in the conversation with you. Your stakeholder will always show interest in knowing about the current status of the project, so whenever you go meeting, always ask them to call the project managers if they have any enquiry; it makes them understand that you value your stakeholders and this helps deepen the bond between you and stakeholders.
- Demonstrate your competence: Try to communicate with the stakeholders from the beginning of the projects, and always keep your promises; this also helps build a strong relationship. In addition to that, one-to-one conversation helps you to build strong bonds. In one-to-one conversations, you get to know what the individual stakeholders want. Thus, with this information, you can make informed decisions and ask them what they think about the action. And what plan of action the project should adopt to meet the objectives.
Why building a good relationship is important?
Building a relationship can give multifaceted benefits to both parties. In project management, it involves various steps, and all the steps play a vital role in the project’s overall outcome. Building a good relationship with the stakeholders will move you towards the path of success, and this may improve your decision-making power. This opens up many doors or allows you to grab exclusive opportunities that were previously impossible to achieve. So building a strong bond with stakeholders will also help you to excel in your knowledge.
Benefits of strengthening relationships with stakeholders
If you build a strong relationship with the stakeholders, you may flourish with multifaceted benefits. Now let’s discuss the various benefits: It creates an interactive environment It improves decision-making It empowers project managers with all the required resources and knowledge A good relationship with stakeholders enables them to plan for strategies that will meet the demand of the stakeholders A good relationship also forces project managers to improve their work Fosters a culture of growth Allows them to achieve long-term growth
Strategies for strengthening relationships with stakeholders
The first strategy that comes to mind is “Communication”. Communication is key to strengthen and deepen the relationship between you and the stakeholders. We will discuss many strategies in the next sections but always remember that communication is the key to every strategy. So let’s not waste time and let’s discuss the strategies:
- Build Trust: This plays a vital role, but gaining trust is difficult. It is not a catwalk, and it requires a level of effort and hard work. Trusting someone may take a long time, but losing that trust will take just a few milliseconds. So be careful before you are set with a plan of action. Always try to give them a reason to trust you. So be confident and specific in your words, and it’s better to stick with openness and honesty. Reclaiming trust may take a long time, so never give it a chance to breach it. Don’t try to be fake; just be yourself; this will work.
- Seek to understand before being understood: First, to make others understand your thoughts and opinions, you should listen carefully to what others say. If they understand that you have just come up with your opinion, it will not work. Things can get messed up, and you will gain nothing and face internal conflicts.
- Give a second thought before you make your moves: As every action plays a vital role, you should be very sure about the action you are implementing. And if you make any working decision, always admit it; the stakeholders often appreciate this behaviour. Show them you are confident and can handle the situation; at that moment, you should also propose effective strategies that may reflect some addressing solutions.
- Address challenges immediately: To build a good relationship with your stakeholder, you must never give them a chance to raise their complaints. So keep continuous monitoring of the tasks, and try to address or fix issues then and there. This creates a positive impact on the stakeholder. In addition to that, this allows you to make a last impression. Make sure that every detail is transparent to the stakeholder.
- Have an open mind: In the work profession, what you think is not supported by clothes, or on the other hand, this might also happen that what the other party thinks you might accept. So there will be contradictory situations, so try to have an open mind and always listen to another party with patience. Patience is the key to success, so try to have patience and make smart moves.
- Be focused on your work and keep your word: When you are on an important project involving many stakeholders, you must keep your word and complete those tasks within the promised time. Remember, this will allow you to gain respect.
- Prioritise the stakeholders: Identifying the stakeholders and then prioritising them is essential to the project. Commonly stakeholders can be divided into two groups: Type one involves who carries an interest in the ongoing project. And the second type refers to those individuals affected by the project outcome. In addition to this, these two types can further be divided into three sub-categories that are: Thow who possesses power in the ongoing project Those who have the power to make changes over decisions of the projects And finally, the one who needs to be informed of the ongoing project details. To implement an effective engagement strategy, you should have a brief idea about their roles and influence in the decision-making power. The involved stakeholders will belong to the different loops where they will want to have details of the project, but some stakeholders will emphasise gathering more information, and others might focus on the major parts of the project. So to build a good relationship with the involved stakeholders, you must have a clear picture of who they are and what they want from you in the ongoing project.
Try to fix meetings with the stakeholders who are resistant to change:
Some individuals will always have a contradictory opinions, so this is a tough situation where you have to be patient. Commonly, a project always involves members who will love, hate or disagree with your options; otherwise, the world would be a nicer place to live. So this is the vital time when they can test your patience, so don’t be impatient and try to give your best and make strategic decisions. And also engaging yourself with the stakeholders’ decisions and listening to them carefully also empowers you to make smart moves that can cover the wants of all the project managers through a single action.
- Don’t run away from the problems
Engaging in a project will bring many tough situations, but you must tackle the situation smartly with effective strategic planning. Also, when you face these situations, you should approach the stakeholders for interactions and meetings and present some proposals to them so that they get convinced of your solutions.
- Use complaints as complements
Complaints will empower you to make effective stakeholder engagement strategies. Initially, you may find these complaints as roadblocks, but the complaints can also help you make growth and can also help in making a positive relationship with the stakeholders.
Project management has become a demanding tool in the last few years, and most organisations are relying on this tool. This has made possible those works which were once impossible to perform. And to achieve organisational success, project managers should build a positive relationship with the project managers And ensure they have a clear picture of the project’s requirements. This blog has given some tips and tricks for project managers, and implementing those tips can help the project managers to maintain a good relationship with the involved stakeholders. A stakeholder is an individual or an organisation who owns a right over the company’s share and has the right to decide on ongoing projects. Thus it is important to meet the demands of the stakeholders and thus maintain a good relationship with them. This opens up many doors or allows you to grab exclusive opportunities that were previously impossible to achieve. Maintaining a good relationship with the stakeholders may flourish you multifaceted benefits, and some create an interactive environment; it improves decision-making, empowers project managers with all the required resources and knowledge, fosters a culture of growth, etc. And to build a positive relationship with the stakeholders, first, project managers should have a proper idea about the involved stakeholders and prioritise them as per their influence on the team. Be confident with your actions, and don’t run away from the challenges; make smarter rather than quicker moves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Project management can be defined as a complex process involving five steps: planning, allocation of resources, defining roles and responsibilities of the involved members, ensuring risk minimisation and on-time delivery of project requirements.
A stakeholder is an individual or an organisation who owns a right over the company’s share and has the right to decide on ongoing projects. A stakeholder in a project plays a vital role, and their decisions can have a significant impact on the ongoing projects.
There are numerous ways project managers can adopt to build a positive relationship with the involved stakeholders; project managers should engage themselves in one-to-one discussions with the involved members and try to meet the demand of the stakeholders.
Building a relationship can give multifaceted benefits to both parties. This opens many doors or allows one to grab exclusive, previously impossible opportunities. So building a strong bond with stakeholders also helps to excel in knowledge.
Communication is the first and foremost effective strategy that one should adopt to strengthen the relationship with the involved stakeholders.
Author Bio: Mark Edmonds is a passionate project management practitioner and the insightful author of “Stakeholder Engagement in Project Management: Building Positive Relationships.” Mark has extensive experience in creating collaboration and constructive stakeholder interactions inside complicated projects. Mark is currently affiliated with Academic Assignments, a well-known provider of top-tier project assignment help, and his skill and dedication shine through in his work, providing essential insights to students and project management practitioners.