Stakeholders’ participation in projects is a must for their success. Unfortunately stakeholders choose to remain indifferent to the working of projects and are more interested in getting the results. Their diminished interest in their working is causing more and more projects to fail.
Businesses have also contributed to their failing by not doing enough to engage the stakeholders. This being a serious matter on which the future of businesses and their projects depends, a change of approach is the need of hour.
Who the stakeholders are
Stakeholders are the persons and organizations that have an interest in a business. They can affect or get affected by the actions and policies of a business. As businesses undertake projects for achieving their specific objectives and goals, they need to actively engage their stakeholders in their projects. Failing to appropriately involve them in their functioning, can result in undesired outcomes. This in turn can affect the growth and development of businesses.
Stakeholders can be sponsors, partners, product owners, customers, clients, team members, government agencies and others depending on how they are associated with a business. They have different needs and expectations. So a business needs to understand properly what various stakeholders want. So it can serve their interests accordingly. It has to do everything worthwhile for cultivating warm and trustworthy relationships with them. This helps it to gain in terms of reputation besides accruing other benefits. Satisfying stakeholders should be the prime concern for businesses if they want to succeed in their endeavors.
We are hereby suggesting some vital points for facilitating stakeholders’ engagement in the business projects and plans.
1. Identifying all stakeholders
A business needs to identify all of its stakeholders, so it is able to know their respective interests in its projects. Failing to recognize them early in the project management process can create problems for its projects. Suppose a business has developed such solutions and products which are not beneficial to some of its stakeholders. This may require redoing the entire development process which will incur more time and costs. To avoid this, it needs to accommodate all its stakeholders in its projects and clearly know what their concerns, expectations and requirements are. Inability to read their interests fully can create problems later, often leading to failed projects. This can damage the reputation of the business as stakeholders are unable to get the intended benefits from its projects.
2. Ensuring stakeholders’ participation in projects
Every business needs to recognize the fact that proper stakeholders’ participation is a must for the success of its projects and plans. It has to undertake all those measures which can convince its stakeholders to participate in its processes. Many of the stakeholders are not too much interested in getting associated with a business’s affairs. They just want the results. They might participate in a meeting or two as far as their involvement in projects is concerned. But this is not sufficient and cannot guarantee the success of projects.
Some of the stakeholders have their own tasks to perform, so they may be reluctant to devote time and attention to a business’s needs. But for the business, their involvement is too much important for the success of its plans and projects. Without their active support, it cannot go too far. So it has to make wholehearted efforts to reach out to its stakeholders.
- It needs to explain to them why their participation is important and what gains would be resulting from it.
- It has to convince them that their guidance and feedback can make a big difference to its projects.
- Its efficiency would improve. A business would be able to deliver quality deliverables in a fast manner.
Thus stakeholders’ interests would be better served. Stakeholders and the business both stand to gain from such mutual collaboration and association. Businesses have to reach out to their stakeholders consistently and politely in order to elicit a favorable response from their end.
3. Improving communication and collaboration through right tools
There may be instances when a business may find it difficult to meet its stakeholders and consult with them over key matters due to their remote locations. Consequently it may be forced to delay its important decisions. This can hurt its interests and it may lose ground to its competitors. To avoid this, a business needs to use those tools which enable smooth and prompt communication with its stakeholders, team members and others. By using a web based project management software, a business is able to communicate rapidly and effortlessly with its remotely based clients, sponsors and other stakeholders. It can collaborate readily with them over crucial matters. It will be able to provide them a true picture of its projects. So they can know how various processes and activities are being performed in projects. Thus they would be able to transparently gauge the amount of progress made in them. They will be relieved to discover the smooth conduct of projects as they know their interests are being properly taken care of.
Some really useful online project management software like Trello, Teamwork, ProofHub, Zoho Projects and Project Bubble can be employed by businesses for smoothly communicating and collaborating with their stakeholders.
With an online project management tool, a business can easily share with stakeholders important files and documents. So they can themselves see and check with relevant facts and figures associated with projects. This enhances their knowledge over key matters. Such transparent sharing of information enables a better bonding between a business and its stakeholders. They are on the same page over a project.
In this manner, a project management tool can prove to be of great benefit in improving stakeholders’ participation in a business’s projects. Also the organization and collaboration in its projects gets significantly boosted with its use.
By focusing on the above mentioned points, a business would be able to actively involve stakeholders in its projects. It can seek the needed support and help from them. This will enable it to better manage its projects and attain success in them. Projects’ successful accomplishment is going to benefit both the businesses and their stakeholders.
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