Effective Strategies for Stakeholder Management

In the current social media and online media era, effective stakeholder management is more crucial than before. The influence of stakeholders on the project can be extremely large. If we do not manage properly, it could lead to resource drain, project delays, political intervention or project termination.

Effectively identifying, understanding stakeholder management, their triggers and expectations will improve the ability to lower risk, modify mitigation measures and deliver a successful project.

Below given five strategies will help in managing project stakeholders:

  1. Stakeholder mapping

At the initial stages of the project, conduct a thorough stakeholder analysis to identify your stakeholders. Identify and evaluate key factors including vicinity to your project, needs and concerns, interests in the project, demographics, expectations of your project and any previous public statements.

Also, it is essential to understand your internal stakeholders, such as suppliers and contractors, broader companies or alliances and shareholders, immediate staff. Mapping your internal stakeholders will allow you to analyse whether you have the right resources and whether your team will function effectively.

  1. Influence is Key

Understanding different levels of influence will allow you to predict, how a particular stakeholder may interact with your project team or with others stakeholders. The level of possible influence is wide, from positive sentiment and support through to activism and engagement of other community members regarding your project. To measure the possible influence of your stakeholders, identify their level on a scale ranging from low, medium to high:

  • Low: indicates a stakeholder with little capability to alter project outcomes.
  • Medium: indicates a stakeholder with a special interest in the project; however has a limited power to affect project change.
  • High: indicates a stakeholder who has the ability to impact time frames, decisions, or outcomes.
  1. Identify the triggers

Stakeholders will react in various ways to various project actions, however by analysing triggers and mitigation measures, you can avoid complaints. Usually, stakeholders experience changes to their environment or expectations of a business and that behaviour may cause a reaction.

Correlate your stakeholder list with potential known triggers, such as dusty or loud construction works, visual amenity impacts, and disruptions to their regular patterns. Estimate the impact of those reactions to your project or strategies and analyse whether targeted communication, an alternative solution or mitigation is necessary.

  1. Look for the opportunities

From a risk management standpoint, it is appealing to focus on those stakeholders who most likely to cause disturbance to the project. But stakeholders who are favourable to your project or may benefit from the project are also equally important. Identify such stakeholders and evaluate opportunities to leverage their positive opinion as project promoter.

  1. Proactive mitigation

After a solid study of your stakeholders, their influence and triggers, the next step is to develop a mitigation plan. This step describes the risks you are ready to accept, share or avoid and outlines how you can minimise their impact. Immediately spot what your negotiables and non-negotiables are.

It includes preferred noise mitigation measures, minor changes to alignment, differing construction techniques or haulage routes. Working with your stakeholders through this process will also improve credibility, project buy-in, and ownership of the mitigation measure.

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