Project management is a people business. Projects get done through people. We need people on our teams to do what they say they are going to do, and we need to help them do that.
That’s why stakeholder engagement is such an important skill.
So what does it look like when stakeholders aren’t engaged?
If you aren’t seeing the success you were hoping for in building relationships with your project stakeholders, then this will sound familiar:
- You can’t get time with your stakeholders
- You’re stressed out by having to deal with conflicting priorities
- Your projects take longer because no one will commit to anything
- You get blindsided by people saying they should have been involved in the project and you don’t even know who they are
- And in the end stakeholders are not happy with the results.
Believe me, I’ve been there! Did I tell you my story about forgetting to include the post room staff as stakeholders in a project where we massively increased the amount of mail coming into the post room? Suffice to say I wasn’t popular that day.
But I learned a lot from the experience! And I never left out stakeholders again.
When you’ve got decent tools, techniques and tactics for building successful stakeholder relationships, trust me, life becomes a lot easier!
You gain authority and credibility. Your colleagues and stakeholders listen to you. People start to tell you things that affect your project without assuming you’ll find it out from somewhere else or don’t need to know. You have a clear engagement plan. And everything on the project starts coming together.
Let me help you create great working relationships with your stakeholders.
I’m running a stakeholder management workshop in November 2019.
It’s highly practical and hands on. We’ll have a short teaching call once a week where we’ll look at something actionable you can do to improve stakeholder engagement. Then we’ll have a Q&A call once a week, where you can submit your questions or join me live.
So there will be plenty of opportunity for personal support, if you need it.
Here’s the timetable, but all calls will be recorded so if you can’t show up live you will still have access to everything.
We’ll be covering:
Stakeholder identification. You’ll create a stakeholder register and assessment. You’ll get to know who your stakeholders are and how they feel about your project.
We’ll create a communications plan for your stakeholders.
You’ll move from communications to engagement. We’ll talk about how to build in feedback loops and how to ‘gamify’ stakeholder engagement. You’ll end up with a list of ideas to try to encourage participation in your team, and an action plan to do (at least) one.
This is the week I’m most looking forward to! I have loads of ideas for creating little micro-engagements in your team and I’ve never taught this before! Can’t wait!
Engagement is only part of the solution. This week we’ll look at stakeholder satisfaction. You’ll get a template for assessing satisfaction each month so you can keep doing things that work, and stop doing things that aren’t getting you results with stakeholders.
It’s $100. I think that’s awesome value for the teaching, the templates, the support, and if it’s something you’d like to do with me, then you can sign up here.
Stakeholder management can be a bit messy and difficult. There is no magic wand I can wave to make all your people problems go away. If your project sponsor is horrible to work with, they probably still will be horrible, even if you’ve got amazing stakeholder engagement skills. The thing that will be different is that you’ll know how to manage their difficult behaviour better.
The stakeholder workshop I’m teaching will give you a framework for doing exactly that. We’ll be plotting out who you need to involve, how to communicate with and engage them, and how to create feedback loops so you know what’s really important to them – and then you can do it.
Does it take more of your time to engage stakeholders properly? Yes.
Is it worth it in terms of project outcomes and your personal stress levels? Yes!
This isn’t a theoretical course. It’s going to be a really practical workshop (delivered online). As I’ve never taught this workshop before I’ll be honest – I don’t have any glowing feedback from past participants. But I do know my stuff, I promise! Here’s some feedback from Leah, who did my old stakeholder management training course:
“Oh my goodness, I’m so excited! All of the materials have been so incredibly helpful. Thanks again for everything – I’m still sifting through all the extra resources and finding new, useful ideas!”Leah, past participant
That made me smile!
What’s the time commitment?
30 minutes, 2 times a week. One teaching call, one follow-up Q&A/support call. They will be during UK office hours.
You don’t have to attend live. You can watch the replays when it suits you. If you have questions and can’t join live, just email me.
Is it right for me?
We’re going back to fundamentals, but getting to the more advanced stuff quite quickly. If you are literally just beginning in project management, then it might not be for you, simply because you’ll get more out of it if you are already working in a project environment with a real project to use the skills on.
It’s not an advanced negotiation or conflict management training either: if you are successfully navigating office politics at senior levels and getting your projects in on time then I don’t think there’s much I can teach you!
I think the workshop is perfect for you if you want to make sure you’ve got the fundamentals right and you want practical tools, techniques and tips to gain credibility, handle stakeholders with different priorities and get your stakeholders engaged.
Can you really gamify stakeholder management?
OK, we’re not going to be creating any apps or making leaderboards of our favourite stakeholders, but gamification is more than that. It’s about helping people take small action steps because it’s fun to get involved. We’ll be looking at different ways to create small engagements – because when you get people to take small action, it’s easier to get them to take larger actions later.
I can’t wait to see what difference this makes to your project teams!
Can I claim PDUs?
Yes. You will get an attendance certificate. This course is about 4 hours of training/mentoring (30 minutes, 2 times a week) so you can claim 4 PDUs against the Talent Triangle (claim the hours that you spend on the course materials – if you do the exercises and watch all the bonus training you can probably claim more). I am not a PMI R.E.P. but that does not stop you claiming PDUs.
Can I claim the cost through my company?
Yes, if they are prepared to fund it! I can issue an invoice/receipt for your Finance team and take payment in a variety of ways.
I’m so excited to be offering this training and I hope you’ll join me in the workshop.
Hope to see you on our Zoom calls!