PMOs Must Extend Themselves Towards Better Stakeholder Engagement

The PMOs of today are called upon to look beyond the technical and analytical aspects of their role, and further towards efforts aimed at stakeholder engagement. In this piece appearing in StrategyEx.Co.UK, Lindsay Scott takes a look at who the stakeholders are, and how they should be engaged as opposed to being managed.

She then delves further to explain how a stakeholder mindset is established, the different types of stakeholders, and how PMOs can get involved in project stakeholder engagement.

Who is a Stakeholder?

Rather succinctly, a stakeholder of a project can be defined as “the involved or the affected”.

Achieving Stakeholder Engagement

There has been a shift from the stakeholder management approach towards the engagement approach. This entails:

  • Willingness to listen
  • The ability to discuss issues of mutual interest
  • Being prepared to consider changes in light of the engagement

This engagement on the part of the project manager must foster a culture that will allow for free conversation, debate and consulted decision-making.

Types of Stakeholders

  1. Role-based stakeholder: These are those who have a defined relationship with the project. They are usually few in number.
  2. Agenda-based stakeholder: As projects become complex with more stakeholders, many role-based stakeholders turn into agenda-based stakeholders. These stakeholders could possibly feel very passionately about the project and will require a different kind of engagement, as opposed to role-based stakeholders. For example, the general public at the prospect of a nuclear power station.

Using the PMO to Engage Stakeholders

For the PMO, the approach to engagement will depend on the type of stakeholder involved. These are the different ways in which the PMO can assist the project manager and boost engagement:

Teach: They should support, educate and coach project managers when required.

Matrices: PMOs can offer hands-on support for SEAM, RACI, and their facilitation. PMOs could also take on communication responsibilities.

Cognitive: For agenda-based stakeholders, PMOs can consult with project managers to determine Power-Interest Matrices and use their connections to provide inputs into salience analysis and cognitive mapping.

Who: The PMOs connections can also bring to light who is involved with the project, political relationships and other associated agendas.

In closing, the PMO must learn from stakeholder engagement and apply it to his own stakeholders.

To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/the-pmo-and-stakeholder-engagement/

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