March 10, 2016

Tips for Driving Effective Stakeholder Management

Every company has groups of individuals and associated organizations that are impacted by their activities, as well as impact company activities; stakeholders. A stakeholder can be any individual, group or organization that may be part of a company’s operations, such as employees, shareholders, communities and more. With the involvement of multiple stakeholders and parties, it can become unclear who a stakeholder is and is not. That is why defining stakeholders is the first step to effectively managing them. Stakeholder management is a critical component in order to successfully carry out activities and deliver projects.
Once you have defined your relevant stakeholders, managing them throughout the progress of the project will establish an on-going engagement with all parties, and enable the project manager to limit scope creep, ensure project requirements are aligned, understand risk tolerance, and mitigate issues that could otherwise delay a project.
This highlights the importance of stakeholder management, as undefined stakeholders and relevant parties are harder to manage and can lead to unclear scope outlines. Effective project managers who create an atmosphere of enabling are most likely the ones to achieve the desired results and project success. Quality relationships, expectation management, and clear and concise communications underpin a culture of healthy user involvement.
To ensure stakeholder groups and individuals are effectively managed and engaged within the project, there are a number of key steps to a productive stakeholder management process. The most important one is the process of continuous consultation and open communication with all stakeholder individuals and groups. This establishes a solid foundation to build business relationships and partnerships, and effectively manage any risks that may emerge.
Proactive project managers know the value of managing stakeholders’ expectations throughout the project life-cycle, ensuring the right information and documentation systems
are put in place to meet the information requirements of all stakeholders, and co-ordinate effective communication. A project manager should always remain close to the stakeholders,
as they are the most important people on a project.

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