Project Management

How to Motivate Stakeholders to Support Your Project

Without the right motivation, even the best, most thought-out project is destined to fail. So how can you motivate stakeholders to support projects? In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin explores this conundrum.

The Cycle of Support

The first step to motivation is establishing a good story. People often want to know “what’s in it for me” when they are choosing to invest themselves into something. They additionally are adverse to change and need to see the benefit of a new idea. Be sure to explain your vision for the project and highlight all of the advantageous aspects.

This raises the issue of establishing an exceptional vision. The vision for the project should be something that is simple and clearly expresses the goal of the project, along with how it will get there. That means the vision needs to be something that is actually achievable. The project itself may have innovative merit, but it needs to be realistic in order to execute it.

The first people you should pitch this story to are your own team. The project will go nowhere if the team is not on board and endorsing the vision from the beginning. They are the ambassadors who will be ultimately promoting this project.

Communicate the project, its goals, and its value to not just stakeholders, but really anyone who is willing to listen. Let a positive buzz grow around you. Not only will this help in getting the message out to the right people in a timely manner, but it will also help your team make the right adjustments. It is ultimately up to the project manager to convey to everyone the expectations when it comes to communication.

Even the best messages will not get through to the stakeholders if you are not communicating where they are. If the stakeholders frequent Skype, use that platform to chat with them. It is all part of the project manager’s job to uncover all of the routes of communication and ensure that all stakeholders are kept in the loop.

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