Don’t Shout the Loudest—Think Ahead

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communications comic

Have you been in situations where it seems that only shouting generates results? Or has your team been pressured to complete tasks that don’t appear to benefit your project? Maybe as the project manager, you have been in the middle of confusion and agitation that seem to undermine your project management abilities.

Could it be that many of the scenarios you encounter have their roots in conflicting stakeholder requests and misunderstandings? Well, it’s possible to avoid these types of predicaments. Consider utilizing the following three tools that allow you to have better control of your project and your project team:

1) Communications Plan. Outline a plan with names, contact information, and details on when and what messages need to be delivered to and from you. This tool allows you to know the frequency of message exchanges and the media required for specific contacts. 

It also lets you know what level of detail the message should have, i.e., if it is going to a senior manager vs. a member of the supporting team.

2) Stakeholder Analysis. Prepare an analysis of your stakeholders to understand what their roles are and what area of your project is impacted by their involvement. This tool can help you with the department that has the biggest impact all the way down to the departments that have even a small effect.

Additionally, this tool can show how those who are directly or indirectly connected to your project may have an influence that can be detrimental.

3) Project Plan. Develop a plan with the focus on your project objectives and what the project will entail. Organize the plan for what needs to be done and when. The tool should show ownership and timings that you can share with stakeholders to also make them aware of the potential influence of their requests. 

Sometimes, we get can get distracted when trying so hard to make sure our projects meet every need. There are many voices, conflicts, risks and events that affect the success of our project. Leaning on these tools may make your stakeholder management process smoother.


What tools do you leverage to ease stakeholder management issues?

 

 

Posted by Bernadine Douglas on: November 25, 2015 06:30 PM | Permalink

Comments (12)

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Network:467



Hi,
Thanks for sharing this important subject, I Totally agree with the tool mentioned for you, but also I include the issue of have collaborative environment when there are a Teamwork devoted to the development of competencies of everyone involved in the Projects are more likely to be successful.

Great Article

Best Regards,

Network:1616



Hi Bernadine,

Almost in all project (any Sector) situation that you mentioned should be existing. Even I face this situation many times.

In addition to what you mentioned the three tools sometime the situations gets resolved or normalized with the excellent soft skill technique of PM. PM can play a role model utilizing his resources and skill to cope with such situation. And he can satisfy all stakeholders.

Network:158



Hi Andreia,

Collaborative environments are very conducive to stakeholder management. This is another good suggestion to add to the tools list. Thanks for your expressions on my article, and thanks for your input.

Bernadine



Network:158



Hi Zaferullah,

Thanks for joining the discussion. The soft skills you refer to are probably influence and negotiation, right? These are essential skills for a project manager. With the information you provide on your communication plan and stakeholder analysis supply you with background on the best influential techniques to use in which situations, for example.

Please feel free to post some of the situations you face, and thanks again for joining in.

Bernadine



Network:1616



Yes i was talking about the interpersonal skills of PM. Anyway thanks Bernadine for the reply.


Network:108



Thanks for the blog. Normally, we consider all mentioned factors while managing / executing projects and use spreadsheet and collaborative systems such as messaging and email to implement these concepts.

PM collaborations with stakeholders is essential in all cases, tools will only help him to convert that collaborations into actions.

Thanks

Network:25990



I find each stakeholder has a preferred way to communicate. All I need to do is find out what it is and use that one. While it might sound like a big chore, I find they typically revolve a handful of means: email, phone, social media, ...

If I can make it easy for them to keep me and them abreast, then I'm ahead of the game.

Thank you for an important reminder.

Network:158



Hi Syed,

Your comment, "PM collaborations with stakeholders is essential in all cases," is such an important message for the PM and for the stakeholders. It leads to a good path towards better project management communications. Thank you for your comments, and I am glad you appreciate the blog.

Bernadine



Network:158



Hi Stephane,

Thank you for mentioning the tools that best help you. I agree we sometimes think the use of these tools can be a chore, but just think if we don't spend the time for better communications, how much more damaging that can be? I am glad you also mentioned having social media as a tool, because while the others have been with us for some time, social media is so new. We have to be careful how we collaborate in that environment. It is not a one-on-one communication tool. It is very open and not all messages are best communicated that way. However, as you have said, if we consider the stakeholder's preferred way, we will have some rate of good communication success.

Thank you again for sharing.

Bernadine



Network:7572



Stephane is dead on with this one. Understand your stakeholders on a more basic level. Their communication preferences and so on.

I like to find out one personal thing about them in passing out of both interest and to help smooth the relationship. I'll know Bob likes scotch, Nancy is getting her kitchen remodeled...etc. Small things go a long way.

Great list of introductory tools above!

Network:312



Bernadine: Shouting seldom manifests planned results. Rather it's close collaboration, surveillance including 360 degrees that work better. And the tools you have advocated stand awesome. Typically, shouting is unproductive, be it louder or one on one. Communication plan and mechanism comes handy to handle conflicts, the root cause for shouting. Be it stake holder management or project plan review, it's the communication and only of it can save and route our synergies other wise being wasted in shouting towards amicable and productive ways of delivering the project.
Thanks many for sharing your thoughts...



Network:312



Bernadine: Shouting seldom manifests planned results. Rather it's close collaboration, surveillance including 360 degrees that work better. And the tools you have advocated stand awesome. Typically, shouting is unproductive, be it louder or one on one. Communication plan and mechanism comes handy to handle conflicts, the root cause for shouting. Be it stake holder management or project plan review, it's the communication and only of it can save and route our synergies other wise being wasted in shouting towards amicable and productive ways of delivering the project.
Thanks many for sharing your thoughts...



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