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7 Must Read Books on Stakeholder Management

7 Must Read Books on Stakeholder Management

There are thousands of project management books, many of which focus on the difficult issues of managing stakeholders. Here are some of the best stakeholder management books around. I’ve read them all!

Practical People Engagement: Leading Change Through the Power of Relationships

Patrick Mayfield, Elbereth Publishing, 2013

An easy-to-read book packed with useful, practical tips on stakeholder engagement. Patrick was the one who first introduced to me to the term ‘engagement ‘instead of ‘management’ and he’s been expert in this area for some time. The book covers a 5-step approach for a pathway to engaging others on projects.

Project Management Communication Tools

William Dow & Bruce Taylor, Dow Publishing, 2015

At 700-ish pages this is a desk reference rather than a quick guide. Very detailed coverage of all the communications tools, methods and techniques available to you on projects. Follows PMI practice and aligns with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). High level templates available in the book and downloadable versions available on the book’s website.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

Guy Kawasaki, Portfolio Penguin, 2011

How to be so likeable, trustworthy and visionary that people will want to embrace your goals. Lots of examples and aimed at people working with brands to engage consumers in the main, but plenty of tips you can translate to a project environment. An inspiring and enlightening read.

Phil Simon, Wiley, 2015

The main concept of this book is that business communication is too much led by jargon and we have lost the ability to actually get the message across. Sadly, I understand most of the jargon but I get that other people don’t and that it impedes understanding. A well-researched book for prompting thinking about how we communicate with a focus on how to simplify communication and make the best use of technology.

Beth Spriggs, available on Amazon

A very quick read but packed with practical tips for doing the work of project management. Beth acknowledges that there is no such thing as cheating in project management, but if there was, it would be this book. It’s quick questions and answers with a real-world flavour to the responses based on tried-and-tested techniques.

Managing Project Teams: Shortcuts to Success

Elizabeth Harrin, BCS Publishing, 2013

My Shortcuts to Success book was turned into a series of smaller ebooks and this is the one on managing teams. It covers 11 short, practical ideas about how to be successful as a project leader using both formal project management techniques and less obvious ideas as well.

Jake Holloway, David Bryde & Roger Joby, Gower, 2015

This is from the Advances in Project Management Series but don’t let the boring cover put you off. It’s actually an accessible and useful read. It includes case studies and anecdotes about how stakeholders have shaped (or destroyed) projects along with key tactics for dealing with difficult sponsors, team members, external clients and internal customers. If your people aren’t responding to anything you are doing, this is a good place to start!

These stakeholder management books are my top choices for learning about how to manage teams on projects

7 Must Read Books on Stakeholder Management

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