Managing your Stakeholders
Some simple steps will ensure you have clarity and control over project and change communications.
By Tim HJ Rogers
ICF Coach, Mentor & Mediator
UNDERSTAND WHO THEY ARE.
Internal stakeholders refer to stakeholders that form part of the organisation:
The project sponsor;
The project management office;
All other employees and officers of the organisation who own the project;
Centralised company functions;
Contractors include all contractors, suppliers or fabricators that support the project outcomes. They are involved in executing the project in all stages from Initiation to Implementation.
Managing and engineering contractors;
Equipment and raw material suppliers.
External stakeholders include all interested and affected parties external to the organisation.
Government at the various levels
Organised labour, such as unions;
Any other interested and affected parties.
UNDERSTAND THEIR TYPE
UNDERSTAND POWER / INFLUENCE
The diagram below shows the different approach you should have for the segregated stakeholders.
Stakeholder management is important since it is the lifeline of effective project relationships. This needs to involve establishing a sound relationship and understanding how their work is contributing to project success. You need to establish trust and maintain relevance.
High power – High interest: these stakeholders are likely to be decision makers and have the biggest impact on the project success. You need to keep these stakeholders close, to manage their expectations.
High power – Low Interest: these stakeholders need to be kept in the loop with what is happening on the project. Even though they may not be interested in the outcome, they yield power. These type of stakeholders should be dealt with cautiously because they could use their power in a negative way if they become unsatisfied.
Low power – High interest: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
Low power – low interest: monitor these people, but do not spend time and energy with excessive communication.
UNDERSTAND COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES
D personality types tend to communicate in one direction. D DISC profile communication styles may have trouble understanding others viewpoints, especially if they involve feelings without the backup of facts. They don’t tend to be interested in ‘why’ someone feels a certain way but prefer ‘what’ they have decided to do about it.
I personality types often get distracted easily by the environment. I DISC profile communication styles are very open and discuss their feelings. They are not shy to offer their opinions and feedback, but only if they know, it won’t cause conflict. They are very animated when they talk, especially when agreeing with you.
S personality types are easy-going and appear outwardly calm. S DISC personality communication styles are not easily excited or animated. They have strong opinions but often keep them quiet. S styles ask questions about specifics and tend to say “let me think about it” when they are asked to come to a decision.
C personality types appear reserved and reasonably quiet. C DISC personality communication styles may appear very critical and overly diplomatic.
ANTICIPATE THEIR NEEDS
Things to think about
- What information do they want?
- What is the best way to engage and communicate with them?
- If they hold a positive view, how to capitalise on these attitudes to benefit the project?
- If they hold negative views, what will win their support and approval of the project?
- If their negative views persist, how can their opposition be managed?
Map your stakeholders and your engagement strategy on a spreadsheet with the following headings
- Current Hot Topic
- Power/Interest Approach
- Preferred Comms
- Comms Frequency
- Last Comms
- Comms Contact
HAVE A CONSISTENT MESSAGES
It is important to be consistent in messaging
As useful approach for each topic …
One PHRASE or sentence that you can say in a lift, or as a sound-bite for TV or media
One PARAGRAPH or summary that you can say to offer more information, context or detail, usually a follow-up to the above.
One PAGE or detail that you can explain to demonstrate thinking, feeling, consultation, usually a follow-up to the above.
One PACK or similar data-bundle or report to detail thinking, feeling, consultation, usually a follow-up to the above
The above can be maintained in excel and is a useful briefing tool so that all senior management say the same things consistently and repeatedly. This can be updated at the weekly project update meeting or the monthly meetings to reflect new, updated messages or themes.
HAVE A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
These are simple steps will ensure you have clarity and control over project and change communications.
If you would like more details please contact
Tim HJ Rogers
Ex-Athlete, now Change Practitioner, ICF Coach, IoD Mentor, Mediation Practitioner
Helping people and organisations achieve their goals.
ICF Trained Coach IoD Business Mentor, Mediator, Management Consultant, Change Practitioner Mob 447797762051 Tim@ThinkingFeelingBeing.com Tim@AdaptConsultingCompany.com
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