How to manage the stakeholders in a project or business
When creating a new project or starting a new business, it is necessary to communicate with different areas which are involved at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the processes. It is easy to get lost in the number of tasks that must be done. A good tactic that you can implement as your ally is the management of the interested parties.
Continue reading to become a true expert in when to the management or management of the interested parties.
What is the management of stakeholders or stakeholders?
To know how people management works it is necessary to understand what this means in the corporate world.
Also called stakeholder management, this area of knowledge has as its main objective to identify, plan, involve, manage, monitor and analyze stakeholders in order to improve processes and communication between them.
When we mention the management of people it is common that the word stakeholders arise several times. So, it’s important to understand its meaning fully.
Stakeholder means interested party. These are those involved in certain activities of a company or members of several areas of a project.
Stakeholders are in every organization, even a micro-enterprise as a neighborhood grocer.
How does stakeholder management work?
Because it is a knowledge that must be applied and shared with people of different profiles and in various stages of the same project, the stakeholder management plan involves several phases. In this article we propose 4 main steps, which are presented below.
First phase: Identify stakeholders
As explained earlier, stakeholders are all interested parties in the processes that involve a project.
All the people who may be affected by the project in some way by their actions, are interested parties.
If the manager is not able to correctly identify the stakeholders and does not really hear their pains at the beginning, the other phases of the management will be compromised and, consequently, will fail.
For this reason, the field professional must be able to clearly identify and commit all parties involved in a project, analyzing their processes in a broad way so that they do not fail to identify some stakeholder.
Stage Two: Plan stakeholder engagement
After having the data, it is necessary that the person in charge of the management of the interested parties analyze and document all the information. Remember that this process must be recurrent in all stages of the value chain, not just at the beginning.
It is important that engagement planning/commitment is made to develop the strategies that allow to break the obstacles that the interested parties put and to guarantee the commitment in the project.
The most important point during this planning is to recognize which strategy best fits the profiles of the most important stakeholders. Thus, it will be able to break the initial resistance, getting them to dedicate themselves to the project.
The type of strategy can vary according to:
Environmental factors in the company
Each company has its own business environment. In institutions where the corporate culture is based on competencies to excel – employees receive a bonus – the motivation to achieve the goals is so important that they become an indicator.
Characteristics of the interested party
When we deal with people all the care is little. It is necessary to be attentive to the particularities of individuals. For example, a person who feels intimidated will not respond so well to a strategy that looks more like an order than a request.
The question of quality is closely linked to expectation. When you create a very high expectation, however good your project is and its appropriate solutions, the quality will seem inferior.
The same is true in contrast, if the expectation created is incredibly low and your idea medium, it will look better.
For this reason, another example of stakeholder management happens when there is alignment of expectations among stakeholders. The goal is to understand how your stakeholder’s mind is in relation to your project.
If the stakeholder has a very high expectation, you need to have a conversation that will direct you to a more realistic view of the situation. In this case, be careful not to disappoint him/her, if that happens the stakeholder can even break the partnership with your company.
Third phase: Manage commitment
Now that the commitment is a reality, you have to know how to manage it. The management of the commitment is the stage responsible for the process of communication and interaction between the interested parties, in order to meet the needs and expectations as they occur.
As already mentioned, the expectation is of extreme importance and it must be constantly managed, because:
- Meeting expectations gives us greater acceptance;
- Acting according to the needs implies the reduction of the problems;
- The faster you get to the solutions, the less wear and tear on everyone.
To always be one step ahead of the problems, there are some aspects that you can watch out for. For example, well-defined tasks, with their well-structured approval structure, optimize time and prevent the project from moving to the next step without the endorsement of any important member.
For this, a good idea may be to adopt the scheme below. Remember to tailor it to your needs.
- Team members report to the project manager about the potential problems of the project;
- The project manager understands and describes the problem. Identifies the alternatives for their resolution to the team;
- Then the manager must define the best alternative to be adopted, with those responsible for each decision. Remembering to detail the actions being requested and who should perform them;
- Accompany the advances;
- Once solved, it is necessary for the project manager to record the problem and the solution adopted; and close the task.
Fourth phase: Monitor commitment
The commitment to know how to keep track of the relationship between stakeholders must be constantly monitored. If necessary, identify which strategies should be modified to improve the relationship.
The main objective of monitoring is to ensure that the organization does not stop growing, always looking for the efficiency of all its processes.
It’s easy, right? If you have not found it so easy and if you still have any doubt about the management of the interested parties, just leave your comment below and we will answer everything you want to know!