If you are not actively identifying your stakeholders and engaging them as you conduct your project, you may be increasing the likelihood of failure. 

Projects would certainly be easier if it weren’t for people, those who have an interest in your project – the stakeholders.

Dr. Mike Clayton, CEO and founder of OnlinePMCourses and a project management expert, focuses on engaging stakeholders in order to increase the success of your project.

He considers that communication with your stakeholders “is perhaps the largest single part of project management” and gives tips for stakeholder engagement:

  • Allocate the time for stakeholder engagement
    • Go to where they are, meet them, and listen to their opinions and concerns
  • Focus on engagement, not management of stakeholders
    • Communicate with them the way they prefer to be communicated with
  • Follow the five-step Stakeholder Engagement Process
    • Identify your stakeholders
    • Analyze your stakeholders
    • Plan how to engage each of your stakeholders
    • Act: Manage the stakeholder engagement process
    • Review what you’re learning
  • Realize that you won’t be able to please all of the stakeholders all of the time
    • Who is the most important for your project?
    • Who must be “let down?” How will you communicate that?
  • Don’t argue with idiots, those who don’t want to be persuaded! How can you change their opinions?
    • Ask them questions
    • Repeat their last few words
    • Use silence

You can view Dr. Clayton’s video here.