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Topics: Communications Management, Requirements Management, Scope Management
Stakeholder Engagement
What are some methods and practices you use to engage with nonsupportive stakeholders?

They could be nonsupportive due to not finding value in the initiative, being the recipient of extra unwanted work as a result of the project, they may not receive the value from the project directly...etc.
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First I would evaluate the influence of these stakeholders (Impact, Power & Authority) and in these situations (When it used to happen), the only thing you can really do is communicate through face to face meetings and keep them involved (If they have high influence).
If I put myself in their shoes, if I don't see any value in the work, why should I put in any effort? I believe it is natural to have such thinking. So it is important to convince the stakeholders about the value to get their support. And it could start from the project objective: why do we need this project? On the other hand, there could be other methods to bypass certain stakeholders, for example recruiting your own resources. Well, escalate to seek support from senior management is also one way to promote value to the stakeholders (although that could be brutal!)
This may or may not help but for those non-supportive stakeholders I always try to find out what keeps them up at night. It may be reporting to their bosses, it may be something totally non-related to the project. Not easy and a lot of time needed to engage and connect with them. Once I know what keeps them up, whether it is a project or non-project related issue, I find a way to close that gap. Directly or indirectly it helps the project.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 04, 2016 11:38 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Jen, I am not sure if I agree with all what you've mentioned. For example, reporting to their bosses would increase the conflict, it might resolve it temporarily only. I won't use this approach until I have spared every other constructive solution.
nonsupportive stakeholders from your definition I would assume the one's with low influence/ low commitment. In this case as they have little power to influence aspects of the projectsI would put them under monitoring. The min concern is to ensure these folks do not provide negative feedback or information to other stakeholders who have more power within the project.. Here is a link that could help... https://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/learning/e...ct-success.ashx
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2 replies by Jen Jee Chan and Rami Kaibni
Jan 04, 2016 8:51 AM
Jen Jee Chan
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Yes your are right - the link is v helpful.

Aside from that, I also meant stakeholders who have a high influence but low commitment due to their own reasons. They wield strong power to influence the project but due to their own reasons do not support the project.

Thanks
Jan 04, 2016 11:36 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Kiran, Non-Supportive are the ones with low commitment but not necessarily low influence, they could be of hugh influence and power so like I mentiined above, the PM should analyze and assess the situation properly.
Jan 04, 2016 8:42 AM
Replying to Kiran Kumar
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nonsupportive stakeholders from your definition I would assume the one's with low influence/ low commitment. In this case as they have little power to influence aspects of the projectsI would put them under monitoring. The min concern is to ensure these folks do not provide negative feedback or information to other stakeholders who have more power within the project.. Here is a link that could help... https://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/learning/e...ct-success.ashx
Yes your are right - the link is v helpful.

Aside from that, I also meant stakeholders who have a high influence but low commitment due to their own reasons. They wield strong power to influence the project but due to their own reasons do not support the project.

Thanks
@Jen, yes you are right as well. at the end of the day it is essential that the organization/ management pays attention. As PM's it's sometimes very difficult to manage stakeholders, whether supportive, defensive, offensive in nature. Having a good steering committee with the right level could also help a lot
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1 reply by Jen Jee Chan
Jan 04, 2016 9:11 AM
Jen Jee Chan
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Spot On Kiran :) Thanks!
Jan 04, 2016 9:08 AM
Replying to Kiran Kumar
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@Jen, yes you are right as well. at the end of the day it is essential that the organization/ management pays attention. As PM's it's sometimes very difficult to manage stakeholders, whether supportive, defensive, offensive in nature. Having a good steering committee with the right level could also help a lot
Spot On Kiran :) Thanks!
Have you had any discussions with them to understand what their reasons are for not supporting the project. I would suggest getting an understanding of why they are not being supportive. Perhaps knowing that will allow you to determine a mitigation plan to remove any concerns or blockers standing in the way of their support.
Jan 04, 2016 8:42 AM
Replying to Kiran Kumar
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nonsupportive stakeholders from your definition I would assume the one's with low influence/ low commitment. In this case as they have little power to influence aspects of the projectsI would put them under monitoring. The min concern is to ensure these folks do not provide negative feedback or information to other stakeholders who have more power within the project.. Here is a link that could help... https://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/learning/e...ct-success.ashx
Kiran, Non-Supportive are the ones with low commitment but not necessarily low influence, they could be of hugh influence and power so like I mentiined above, the PM should analyze and assess the situation properly.
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1 reply by Kiran Kumar
Jan 04, 2016 1:14 PM
Kiran Kumar
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I was just responding to what Steven was mentioning and what you also mention is right they are also non-supportive, but for those specific stakeholders, I would use different strategy as compared to the low influence/ low commitment ones. The high influence folks with low commitment I would certainly use and make sure that I address the concerns from them on a priority as compared to the other
Jan 04, 2016 8:30 AM
Replying to Jen Jee Chan
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This may or may not help but for those non-supportive stakeholders I always try to find out what keeps them up at night. It may be reporting to their bosses, it may be something totally non-related to the project. Not easy and a lot of time needed to engage and connect with them. Once I know what keeps them up, whether it is a project or non-project related issue, I find a way to close that gap. Directly or indirectly it helps the project.
Jen, I am not sure if I agree with all what you've mentioned. For example, reporting to their bosses would increase the conflict, it might resolve it temporarily only. I won't use this approach until I have spared every other constructive solution.
...
1 reply by Jen Jee Chan
Jan 04, 2016 9:16 PM
Jen Jee Chan
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Hi Rami, I think u misunderstood my post. When I mentioned reporting to their bosses it was to give an e.g. of what could keep stakeholders up at night.. meaning they have their own bosses to answer to also.

Totally agree with u that bypassing stakeholders is non-constructive and I would never do that unless it is the last resort. Rather understand their issues, their problems and engaging them goes a long way to helping address the issue.
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