Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Government, Healthcare, IT Project Management
Difficult stakeholders
Network:277



How do you manage difficult stakeholders in a weak matrix structure?
Sort By:
Network:8518



Could you explain a little what is for you difficult? It means is due to a communication barrier (non-native speakers), are they not engaged or maybe not great performers?

Will be easy to give you some tips.
...
1 reply by Anish Abraham
Oct 04, 2017 12:27 PM
Anish Abraham
...
It's basically communication barrier, they just skip the meetings or never show up for several months and then they will say that “I don’t understand what this project is about”. Even top down approach doesn't work sometimes, I was told that we cannot do anything if they don't attend.
Network:67135



The same way you manage difficult stakeholders in other organizational structures: by talking to them, understanding their needs/expectations, and influencing their behaviour.
Network:277



Oct 04, 2017 12:07 PM
Replying to Mayte Mata-Sivera
...
Could you explain a little what is for you difficult? It means is due to a communication barrier (non-native speakers), are they not engaged or maybe not great performers?

Will be easy to give you some tips.
It's basically communication barrier, they just skip the meetings or never show up for several months and then they will say that “I don’t understand what this project is about”. Even top down approach doesn't work sometimes, I was told that we cannot do anything if they don't attend.
...
1 reply by Mayte Mata-Sivera
Oct 04, 2017 12:41 PM
Mayte Mata-Sivera
...
Working in weak matrix organizations, sometimes that happens. Is a very challenging situation, because you can't push the stakeholders to join the meeting usually "they have more important things to do or other priorities"

Somehow is frustrating, but at the same time is challenging and this situation will teach you how to manage the stakeholder, you should look at this situation as a learning opportunity to improve your managerial skills and communication.

Stéphane nailed it! Try to understand their needs (reducing the meetings, or maybe making them to participate in the agenda creation, to ensure that they will join), talk to them (sometimes the coffee break room can give you more information about how to engage a team member that a crowded meeting room) and influence their behaviour (you can´t allow in your meeting that someone spoil it by saying ¨I don´t have any idea¨, that create very bad vibes in your meeting...)

Good luck!
Network:8518



Oct 04, 2017 12:27 PM
Replying to Anish Abraham
...
It's basically communication barrier, they just skip the meetings or never show up for several months and then they will say that “I don’t understand what this project is about”. Even top down approach doesn't work sometimes, I was told that we cannot do anything if they don't attend.
Working in weak matrix organizations, sometimes that happens. Is a very challenging situation, because you can't push the stakeholders to join the meeting usually "they have more important things to do or other priorities"

Somehow is frustrating, but at the same time is challenging and this situation will teach you how to manage the stakeholder, you should look at this situation as a learning opportunity to improve your managerial skills and communication.

Stéphane nailed it! Try to understand their needs (reducing the meetings, or maybe making them to participate in the agenda creation, to ensure that they will join), talk to them (sometimes the coffee break room can give you more information about how to engage a team member that a crowded meeting room) and influence their behaviour (you can´t allow in your meeting that someone spoil it by saying ¨I don´t have any idea¨, that create very bad vibes in your meeting...)

Good luck!
Network:67135



If Mohammed can't come to the mountain...

Try to meet them in their office so that they have to attend. This is actually a good practice before you invite them to a group meeting.
...
1 reply by Anish Abraham
Oct 04, 2017 1:36 PM
Anish Abraham
...
It's not easy to reach out to them or meet them personally. I tried this several times and failed. So will have to try some other alternatives.

Anyway thanks for all your responses.
Network:354



I have seen similar behavior in strong matrix org as well. What will work(from my experience) is patience and positive attitude, creating a positive influence from the PM. I totally know and acknowledge how frustrating it is for the PM, because I have been there. But as you become closer to the team, you will start noticing the difference. In these cases, it is them who needs to understand to give priority and be responsible, but it starts slow as long as you keep consistent behavior and continue to be friendly and impactful.
Network:277



Oct 04, 2017 12:52 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
If Mohammed can't come to the mountain...

Try to meet them in their office so that they have to attend. This is actually a good practice before you invite them to a group meeting.
It's not easy to reach out to them or meet them personally. I tried this several times and failed. So will have to try some other alternatives.

Anyway thanks for all your responses.
Network:1287



There are not something stakeholders. There are people which have a perception about the reality then they react. That´s all. If you are working as project manager then you have to understand project stakeholders perception about reality and work on they perception and desires. And remember: a problem is a gap between perceived reality and desire reality so you can work on the perception, on the desire, on the gap or on a mix of all of them.
Network:277



Thank you all for your response.
Network:283



Communication is always the key.

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."

- Henry Ford

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors