Project Management

How is Your Team Perceived? Taking the Pulse of the Stakeholder

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Much is said about staying in touch with the voice of the customer, and for good reason. You need to understand what customers think about your organization’s products and services in order to adapt and improve them; a strong customer relationship is good for the top and bottom line.

But when it comes to projects, little is done to qualitatively measure the “pulse of stakeholders” in a way that is simple, fast and revealing. To be sure, what follows is not a quantitative process; rather it explores the emotional and interpersonal side of the customer relationship question.

It isn’t so much who you know, but rather how you are thought of by those who have influence over your success that matter. When stakeholders think well of you (they like you), mistakes and conflicts are more likely to be forgiven than not. However, if stakeholders dislike you or find it difficult to work with you, those same mistakes and conflicts can be harmful to your career.

Below is a simple tool designed to help project leaders and team members better understand what stakeholders think and feel about working with an assigned project team (as it relates to both the process and the people collectively; it is never meant to be an assessment of individuals). In addition, it provides each participating stakeholder a way to get in touch with their experience feelings—a …

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Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

- Jerry Seinfeld