Success through Effective Stakeholder Management

"Unless a business truly engages its stakeholders it will be paying some of its employees to initiate change and the rest to resist it"

Stakeholder groups often get relegated to the wastelands in the team's hot pursuit of the project tasks, yet this is the group that can make or break sustained success. Good stakeholder management is, therefore, fundamental to the ability of a business to deliver enduring change. Yet it is a rare business that equips the change initiators to work effectively with their stakeholders.

This workshop is designed for the initiators of change, to help them identify, assess and then manage their stakeholders in a sensitive and positive way, from the moment the project starts, throughout the journey and beyond project closure.

Duration

2 days

Target Participation

  • Sponsors and project leaders - helping them acquire essential stakeholder management skills, tools and insight
  • Complete project teams - helping them to identify, assess, plan for and then manage the stakeholders for the project they are engaged in

Support materials

Ongoing development

One-on-One coaching is also available either by phone or in person.

Workshop Outline

Introduction

The scene is set for a challenging learning experience which requires participants to be fully present, prepared to explore and experiment with concepts, practice skills and to give and receive feedback with colleagues.

The Stakeholder

Exactly what is one? This session defines stakeholder and identifies the different categories of stakeholder.

Stakeholders - why bother?

This session brings home to participants what is at stake for the business, project and relationship if the stakeholder is neglected or mismanaged.

Stories, myths and realities

A fun but insightful look at the myths, stories and assumptions about these things called stakeholders and the resultant impact on behaviours and plans. Participants then share their realities, the challenges they face, concerns, questions and successes.

Stakeholder Identification

Participants identify their own stakeholder list, and who they are expected to influence, then following some tips and tools re examine their original list and see if any changes are required before categorizing them.

Stakeholder Assessment

Tips, tools and insights are provided on how to assess each stakeholder along key dimensions such as influence and attitude and the pitfalls to avoid when assessing.

Managing Stakeholders through Project Change

Stakeholder management is placed firmly in the context of managing a project or a desired cultural change. Providing a framework for the interventions and actions required at each phase of a project. This session includes:

Response to change

This session will enable participants to identify key characteristics of people who assist or resist change, in terms of their perception of the proposed change and the amount of zeal they display in their approach to making it happen.

Participants explore the major stages that people go through in response to a change. Participants learn how to diagnose each stage, what action to take, and traps to avoid.

What do they want from me?

They're only human. A close up look at how to "see" the person behind the title and assess each stakeholder through the life of the relationship.

Participants identify the needs and questions that stakeholders are likely to have at each stage of the life of a project to ensure that their project plans and resources are geared up to respond.

Making involvement real

This session looks at the project management structures and processes required to ensure that stakeholders are genuinely involved in critical aspects of the change and have a genuine voice and opportunity to influence. Project processes such as change control, issue management and risk assessment, Implementation planning are considered.

Communication and involvement plan

This session allows participants working in teams to pull all their learning together by working on a case study/real business change. The case study examines a real change affecting a business, and the teams have to construct a communication plan to support the change scenario.

Participants receive feedback on their stakeholder communication and involvement plan and learn how to monitor and assess its impact.

Letting go

Participants examine the process of handing over the final outputs to their stakeholders, with pitfalls and tips highlighted and recognition of the feelings, concerns and practicalities at the point of handover.

That First Meeting

Participants are guided through the preparation, structure and skills required for effective management of the first one-on-one stakeholder meeting. Applicable to meeting a stakeholder for the first time and meeting a well known stakeholder for a first meeting about a new project or challenge.

Contracting

This session focus is upon the fundamental process of contracting with each stakeholder. How the relationship will be managed, agreeing the rules of engagement and the commitments of both parties to making it work.

Understanding & Agreeing Requirements

This session provides the structure, tools and tips for ensuring stakeholder requirements are fully identified, assessed and agreed. Questions and tips for managing expectations and to challenge back on requirements are provided.

Building Rapport through Crucial Conversations

It's a rare person today that can rely on positional power to make things happen. Being able to have the right conversations is central to the ability to engage others, promote openness and learning and tackle the tough people issues.

This session explores the barriers to having crucial conversations and then how to have them - moving beyond t he often superficial exchange of data to conversations that have meaning, impact and positive outcomes.

Becoming Infectious

Stakeholder management is often quoted as one of the more stressful aspects of a role. Stress is insidious; it often develops little by little and very often even when we feel like we have dealt with an issue there is a hidden emotional price to pay. Because of this people can often become stress carriers and not be aware of it. This is disastrous for a leader. An infected leader by nature of their work can spread stress faster than the common cold. Stress is infectious. Techniques for self monitoring are reviewed here; honest mutual and self awareness is the only defence to this dangerous infection.

Facilitation and Stakeholder Management

Facilitation is often described as "the art of making things easy" and in this age of speed and action, facilitation can often be seen as "soft and fluffy". Nothing could be further from the truth, facilitation is a difficult skill to master, brings measurable results and should be totally outcome focused. This session provides a high level introduction, providing practical tools for delegates to get started with.

Meetings - Another Moment of Truth

Building on the introduction to facilitation, participants now move on to reviewing the often painful subject of meetings, making them work for themselves and their stakeholders. Whilst the skills learned in the first part of the session will undoubtedly have helped with running meetings, we now shift our attention to the process side of running meetings. There are some simple but quite astounding insights into the art of making meetings effective. This session also explores some powerful tools and techniques for enhancing impact at those critical moments, the presentation and meetings.

Dealing With Stakeholder Objections

Many people steer clear of stakeholders because they are not sure how to manage objections. Skills, tips and insights are gained in how to manage your self and the other person when the latter expresses concern and opposition to what is being said and done.

Scenarios to Manage

To reinforce key learning points Individuals and teams work through what they would do, say and feel in response to a series of typical stakeholder scenarios. Responses are assessed and possible implications identified.

Measuring Success

How do you know how effective your relationship is with a stakeholder, what needs to be done to improve it and what is working that needs to be held onto? A choice of methods for measurement are provided including co-creating success measures and involving stakeholders in the assessment process.

From Workshop to Workplace

Participants review what they will take back and apply in the workplace, the impact of these proposed actions and how to sustain momentum.