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Seeking Better Stakeholder Engagement

It’s every PM’s dream to string together a beaded necklace of successful projects. To achieve this goal, it often helps to seek advice from the experts, like Oana Krogh-Nielsen, Head of PMO for the National Electrification Program at Banedanmark. In an interview with Elizabeth Harrin, Krogh-Nielsen shares her insights on utilizing better stakeholder engagement techniques.

Building Trust

In November of 2012, Oana’s company was charged (no pun intended) with modernizing Denmark’s railways by electrification of Banedanmark’s network over a 10-15 year span. As project manager, her greatest challenge is to manage a truly massive PMO (with many internal and external stakeholders) while driving the project toward choosing the right supplier.

Oana built trust with the stakeholder community by adhering to an overarching leadership framework that promotes shared understanding of goals and expectations within a constructive organizational climate. Further, she uses a communication strategy that focuses on the needs of project members, bridging those needs, and driving team performance through a framework that gives each employee a sense of direction and shared effort.

Communication and Leadership Skills

All Banedanmark employees coach and are coached in perception and appreciative communication. Oana also has some clear leadership advice for PMs of all stripes:

Leadership deals with people, management deals with processes and systems. You should therefore strive to take the holistic approach to your project management job.​

  • Focus on the human factor and behavioral aspects as much as you focus on schedules and deliveries.
  • Be open and willing to learn and seek feedback from your organization on your own performance.
  • Network with others, seek out leadership development programs, and allow new knowledge to influence you.
  • Most importantly, adjust your leadership style to fit the cultural aspects in your organization. Continually measure the climate in your team and address the issues that arise as priority tasks.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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