In today's fast-paced, constantly-connected world, it can be easy to overlook the importance of stakeholder management. However, enhancing your skills in this area is essential if you want to accomplish anything meaningful as a project manager. In this blog post, we'll explore some benefits of stakeholder management. So whether you're just starting out in your project management career or looking for ways to take your projects to the next level, read on for insights that will help you succeed!
Stakeholder management is a critical part of any project, but it can be easy to overlook this aspect during hectic times. Failing to enhance stakeholder management can lead to missed deadlines, budget overruns, and frustrated team members.
Let's look at nine benefits of actually working with your stakeholders.
1. Fewer Surprises
How many times have you been caught off guard by a stakeholder? A powerful individual entered your project world and exerted his or her influence in ways that caused rework, additional cost, and negative effects on team morale.
2. More Valuable Engagement
Janet, a project manager in a health insurance company, has never developed a stakeholder management plan. Consequently, she has not engaged key stakeholders adequately. On the other hand, Ginger, a project manager in the same company, has worked with her project teams to determine when, how, and where the team would engage the stakeholders. Guess who was recently promoted.
3. Better Understanding of Needs
Projects are temporary endeavors resulting in a unique product, service, or result. Unique means we're creating something new or modifying existing products and services. Specific individuals, teams, and organizations will be impacted. Each of these stakeholders has needs. The best project managers identify and seek to understand those needs early in the project.
4. Better Understanding of Concerns
Stakeholders also have concerns. Ask them, and they will tell you about potential events or conditions hindering your progress. Other stakeholders can explain how the project may impact their roles and responsibilities.
"Find the appropriate balance of competing claims by various groups of stakeholders. All claims deserve consideration but some claims are more important than others." Warren Bennis
5. Time Invested in the Right Places
You may be a hard-working project manager, working late evenings and weekends. The question is – are you working on the right things? With the stakeholder's input and regular feedback, you can ensure that you work on things with the greatest value.
6. Happier Stakeholders
Any chance that you'll make all the stakeholders happy? Probably not. However, you will have a much better chance of keeping stakeholders happy and satisfied if they are involved in your projects. Less stress for your stakeholders translates into less stress for you as the project manager.
7. Improved Communication
Stakeholder management includes the identification of your stakeholders and seeking to understand their preferences. Armed with this stakeholder information, project managers can become a better project communicator.
8. Better Management of Expectations
Unrealistic stakeholder expectations can derail projects. It's common for people to think that a project will take less time and cost less money than it does in reality. This can lead to frustration on the part of stakeholders when the project falls behind schedule or goes over budget. The winning project managers set realistic deadlines and budgets at the start of a project.
9. Improved Reputation
Project managers with stellar reputations relate well to people in their projects. Want to advance in your career? Focus on improving your stakeholder management skills.
How About You?
You may think—that's great, Harry—but I don't need a formal methodology to manage people. Please don't make this more complex than it needs to be. However, give it the attention it merits
Likely, your most significant issues were related to poor stakeholder engagement. What are the lessons learned? What can you change in stakeholders' identification, evaluation, planning, and review in the future?
Do you have a stakeholder engagement plan? Have you stopped to think about the diverse needs of your stakeholders? Which stakeholders have the most power and influence? When and how will you engage these people? Learn 10 Ways to Engage Project Stakeholders.