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.

For additional depth and breadth see our 2 day Success through Effective Stakeholder Management workshop.

Duration

1 day

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

A lively, fast-paced introduction that sets the tone and grabs immediate attention and interest. Includes: review of agenda, ground rules, expectation-setting and an exercise icebreaker exercise relevant to stakeholder management and change.

The scene is thus 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 and project players

This session defines stakeholder, identifies the different categories of stakeholder and helps participants identify their own stakeholder list. The relationship between the stakeholder, customer and every project role is defined and mapped.

Stories and myths

A fun but insightful look at the myths and stories around change and these things called stakeholders and the resultant impact on behaviours and plans.

Barriers to change

Individuals identify the barriers to change, personal and organisational, and start to understand how these barriers can prevent successful change from being sustained within the business.

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 it.

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.

Teacher, coach, mentor and friend

The purpose of this session is to identify an individual's preferred style of helping and provide an insight into the pros and cons of each style. This will enable individuals to use their strengths to the best effect while at the same time creating strategies to address the potential gaps.

Stakeholders – why bother?

This session brings home to participants what is at stake for the business, project and the team if the stakeholder is neglected or mismanaged. Practical sessions highlight why genuine early involvement will help to minimise stakeholders' resistance and promote commitment to change.

What do they want from me?

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.

Killing it softly

Participants identify everything that could promote resistance, anxiety and de-motivate their stakeholders and then use these insights to identify the principles and values required to secure stakeholder commitment and involvement.

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.

Managing stakeholder communication

Subgroups prepare a presentation for delivery to a stakeholder group and receive peer and consultant feedback on the impact of the delivered presentation and how they attended to the needs, questions and concerns of the audience. The focus during preparation is reviewed and advice provided on how to prepare for and deliver communications.

Managing one-on-one stakeholder meetings

Participants are guided through the preparation, structure and skills required for effective management of one-on-one stakeholder meetings.

Scenarios to manage

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.

Dealing with 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.

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.

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.

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.