Project Management

Managing the Stakeholder Attitudes That Control Your Project’s Fate

Stakeholders’ attitudes are going to drive their reactions and approaches to your project. So if you want your project to have a maximum of support, you need to observe and manage these attitudes to the best of your ability. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Lynda Bourne explains how to manage stakeholder attitudes and perceptions.

Addressing Attitudes

The first step is to gauge the current level of support that is behind the project. This can range from active support to passive support to opposition. Once you’ve determined where everyone stands, you can find the realistic optimum level for the project’s success.

There need to be open channels of communication with the stakeholders. Not all of them may have the time or desire to talk to you, so you will need to get creative when establishing communication. Bourne says that the following can be used:

If you can’t gain credibility — one of the key factors within your control that will influence the effectiveness of your communication — with a particular person because of their perceptions of you or your project, make sure you find a credible messenger to carry your communication.

Communication is a two-way process. Only after communication channels are open can you start to listen to the other person and understand their needs, concerns or ambitions. Once these are known, you are then in a position to either explain how the current project meets those needs or consider risk mitigation strategies to modify the project to reduce issues and enhance opportunities.

Communicating for a specific intended effect with your stakeholders. Focus on who is important at the time, their issues, and desired changes in attitude. When communicating with others, identify who needs what kind of communication. Some will be performing at just the right level for the project and won’t need to be talked to as much. Others will need far more frequent communication.

For more thoughts, you can view the original post here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/33858/Managing-Stakeholder-Attitudes

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