Project Management

Getting Buy-in From Different Project Stakeholders

PMI Kenya Chapter

Stephanie is a project process specialist, trainer and mentor. She is the Lead Consultant at Jaeger Consultants Ltd in Nairobi. Stephanie specializes in the human aspect of project management and leadership, and encourages discussion and feedback. She also writes regular blogs on

During my almost 20 years of experience managing projects in both the healthcare and IT sector, I realized that project managers and change managers often face resistance from stakeholders or team members—often because they might not have understood the project or the change being implemented. They don’t see the benefit, instead viewing everything as a “big brother” situation.

However, buy-in from both senior management (especially the project sponsor) and your team members is essential. Without it, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. The rest of your stakeholders should also not be forgotten. The most forgotten stakeholder is actually the end user—without their buy-in, you will be working on a white elephant.

Early on in your project/change management process, you need to plan for how you’ll get relevant buy-in from everyone. To ease this process, there are a lot of different tools at your disposal. I want to highlight a few that I have successfully used in the past for both project management and change management. (From here on I will be referring to project management only, but under the assumption that successful change management requires high-level project management.)

As any project manager will tell you, it is of utmost importance to identify all of your stakeholders as early as possible. But who are …

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A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.

- Frank Lloyd Wright