Project Management

7 Ways to Get Stakeholders to Communicate With You

PMI Southwest Ohio Chapter

Paul has run a plethora of projects in multiple industries throughout his 20-year career, ranging from process improvement to agile to most recently cyber-security. Paul is also a reputable speaker, drawing practical and humorous conclusions from the "trenches" of his employers. Paul's dedication as a PM practitioner started decades ago, when he became one of the first 10,000 people to earn the PMP.

While our communication abilities are well-polished from years (and in some cases decades) of running projects, our understanding of what is happening in the project is only as good as the quality and quantity of input provided to us by others. Sponsors and stakeholders need to keep us informed of any changes in direction or scope. Project resources need to keep us abreast of progress and issues.

To manage a project effectively, we as project managers have to pull information that is both broad and deep out of our project constituents (that is, our resources, stakeholders and sponsors). We can’t expect constituents to “push” information to us proactively and package it the way we want (if you’ve ever raised teenagers, you know what I’m talking about).

Here are seven ways to minimize your burden of information “pull” when working with project constituents:

1. Be present…and visible. Managing projects is not a time to be distant from your stakeholders and your teams. One of my favorite quotes that emphasizes being present is from movie director Woody Allen: “90% of life is showing up.” I believe this to be true, and as a project manager, you need to be 100% accessible when your constituents need to communicate with you.

I’m not advocating that you sacrifice weekends and vacations, but when the team is …

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