Key to successful stakeholder management is planning an effective strategy. This guide looks at identifying win win strategies and developing a actionable stakeholder management plan.
This is step 3 of a 4 step guide to Stakeholder Management. If you haven't read steps 1, 2 and 4 you can access them here. Step 1 Stakeholder Definition
, Step 2 Stakeholder Analysis
, and Step 4 Stakeholder Engagement
Now that you have completed the identification and analysis stages it is time to develop your stakeholder engagement strategy.
Identify WIN WIN strategies for managing your stakeholders
Document the results of your analysis in a table which lists each stakeholder or group and their place on the interest/influence matrix.
Add two columns and use one to describe their goals and the other to identify win/win strategies for engaging with them.
The last two areas will require some effort, but it is well worth the time as it will help to ensure that your stakeholder engagement strategy is focused and effective. The concept of 'win/win' deserves some more discussion.
Simply put, a win-win negotiation is a negotiated outcome in which parties have reached an agreement that cannot be mutually improved upon. (Thompson 2007).
In stakeholder management achieving a Win / Win means creating a strategy that effectively manages the stakeholder, without negatively impacting the project or organisation.
For example one to one interviews may be a great win for a very interested stakeholder, but the costs may outweigh the benefits for the project. Rather than flattering the stakeholder a win may still be achieved by consulting the stakeholder via a focus group or workshop which makes them feel engaged and may also give the opportunity to recruit the stakeholder as a good will ambassador.
Your final stakeholder engagement plan should look something like this:
Get this Stakeholder Engagement Plan template
Ok - you know who your stakeholders are, you have identified the key players and you
you know what they want. You could stop here and you would have increased your chances of project success. However, you need to put the results of your hard work into action.
Stakeholder Communication: Develop the communication and reporting plan
Using the information you have gathered in the previous steps write a communication and reporting plan that documents:
- the information requirements;
- frequency of communication;
- communication provider;
- and channel of communication for each stakeholder.
Make use of your existing reporting structure to manage and communicate with your key stakeholders and don't forget to make use of technology e.g. webinars, video conferencing, internet, intranet.
Existing company communications are also worth considering. Updates on your project will receive a higher profile if they appear in the company magazine, and you will get your message distributed for free.
To get your message across you may need to use more than one channel. Some people won't read emails that are longer than two paragraphs, but they might listen to a podcast or login to a webinar.
Stakeholder Communication Channels
Here are some stakeholder engagement channels that you could consider using:
- pod casts
- video conferencing
Face to face
- project meetings/briefings
- surgeries for individuals with specific questions
- presentations to wide audience
- targeted presentations to particular groups
- blogs e.g. Blogger, Wordpress
- forums, communities and online groups e.g. Google groups or LinkedIn groups
- social media e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google +
- memos, letters
- display boards
The results of your work should now be pulled together to form your Stakeholder Engagement Plan
Stakeholder Management resources
References and further reading on Stakeholder Management
Guide to Stakeholder Management
Next step - stakeholder engagement