Business is about managing relationships, both bad and good. Successful businesses always have to be aware of who will hold the organisation back and who will help them move forward. For making short-term decisions and achieving long-term goals, it is crucial that organisations create stakeholder maps for each operational and change activity. This will help to identify supportive stakeholders (as well as resisting ones) and will be effective in taking the company to the next level.
If you are a Project Management Professional or PRINCE2 Project Manager, you would have come across stakeholder engagement and management during your course. It is the duty of a project manager to identify and assess stakeholders, and you must come up with plans and ways to engage stakeholders in a project. There are times when you might be faced with “hostile” stakeholders and that is when the knowledge acquired from the stakeholder management training is put into good use.
But, do you know why stakeholder engagement is of benefit your business or company? Training Creatively outlines some of the important advantages below. Take a look…
Effective decision making
The first step to stakeholder management is learning and understanding the perspectives of the stakeholders. Through proper communication, stakeholders gain new insight on an issue or product, which can help them gain a competitive advantage. The knowledge that is gleaned from different stakeholder perspectives help in better and informed decision making. As you must be aware, it is never wrong to consider problems from a new or different approach. For any company, the goal should be to make informed decisions that takes into consideration the diverse needs of stakeholders, including the customers.
Better relationships with stakeholders
Depending on the nature of your company, there will be different stakeholders involved in a project. Knowing their specific needs and demands, understanding how to deal with them and listening to them will help in building better relationships. There will be times when you will be faced with stakeholders who are hostile or opposed to your proposals. This is when you can implement the tactics, skills and strategies learned during your stakeholder management course. Some of the different types of stakeholders include customers, employees, suppliers and vendors, investors, communities, regulators, and the government.
You need to understand which type of stakeholder is the most important for your project and find out ways to engage them.
Prevention of project delays or roadblocks
If you can engage stakeholders properly, you get to better achieve your time, scope, quality, cost and other targets. There are studies proving that organisations who engage stakeholders boost their chances of finishing a project on budget and on time. This is because the project progresses smoothly, with less roadblocks or unpredictable surprises that may slow down the processes.
Risk management and accountability
Potential negative risks can be identified when a project is being discussed with a group of individuals. By preventing those threats, you can make sure that your project moves smoothly and takes its due course. Also, engaging with groups improves accountability within your company and also external audiences. Transparency is crucial in helping you achieve the goals and outcomes that you are aiming for. You must always keep in touch with your stakeholders to inform them how your company or project is doing.
Trust and goodwill
When you are reaching out to stakeholders, you are making them aware that you value their perspective and opinion. This collaborative approach is going to build goodwill and trust towards your organisation and you. This is particularly helpful if you are working during a crisis or with tight deadlines. Rebuilding trust is easier said than done and it can be an arduous, long process. But, if you ensure that all your stakeholders are treated with the respect and engagement that they deserve, you can start the project on a positive note.
Effective stakeholder management and engagement is crucial as it can make or break your project. Organisations cannot bypass stakeholders and achieve business goals. Training Creatively’s online, classroom or virtual stakeholder management course is what you need. Get in touch to know more.