Working Successfully With Stakeholders

Course Description

“It’s the people – not the work – that cause most tasks to fail.”  Would you agree with that statement?  Research focused on business and project failure does: multiple studies show that less than half of all organizational efforts fully fulfill their scope, schedule and budget requirements.  And this failure is most often attributed not to lack of technical skill or experience but to lack of agreement between the people involved.  The ability to reach consensus between stakeholders is a critical factor of an organization – and manager’s – success.

This seminar focuses on how to help stakeholders identify and agree upon goals, both for specific tasks and the larger organization.  In this interactive seminar, participants will learn, discuss, and participate in multiple exercises to identify and categorize stakeholders and then help those stakeholders prioritize organizational and tasks-specific goals. Attendees will also identify common barriers to reaching group consensus and strategies for overcoming those barriers.

With its focus on processes and people, the seminar blends communications, stakeholder, and human resource management – a unique combination that comprehensively ties together not just task completion, but also the people who complete those tasks.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
Conduct a stakeholder inventory and stakeholder analysis.
Know methods to determine organizational and task goals.
Identify the benefits and disadvantages associated with common techniques to identify stakeholder goals and objectives.
Know how to identify and document unambiguous stakeholder requirements.
Explain environmental, cultural and individual barriers to stakeholder consensus and how to address them.
Develop a stakeholder communications management plan.
Identify options for resolving stakeholder issues and concerns.

Who Are the Stakeholders?
Identifying Stakeholder Expectations
Managing Stakeholder Expectations

This course is appropriate for employees at all levels.  While not required, groups of employees who frequently work together may find it helpful to attend the course together.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Two days

Course Outline

I.    Introduction
        Session Overview
Personal Introductions

II.  Who Are the Stakeholders?
        Taking a Stakeholder Inventory
Tools for Stakeholder Analysis
Exercise: Case Study Stakeholder Inventory and Analysis
Now What? How to Use a Stakeholder Inventory

III.  Identifying Stakeholder Expectations
        What’s Wrong with the Way Things Are?
Identifying and Clarifying Organizational Goals
Exercise: Writing a Goal-Focused Project Charter
Eliciting Stakeholder Expectations: Technique Pros and Cons
Exercise: Choosing Stakeholder Elicitation Techniques for a Case Study
Documenting Stakeholder Requirements Clearly
Exercise: Writing Stakeholder Requirements for a Case Study

IV.  Managing Stakeholder Expectations
        Why Is Agreement So Challenging? Communication Basics and Barriers
Identifying and Addressing Environmental Barriers: Communication Methods and Media
Exercise: Create a Stakeholder Communications Plan
Addressing Stakeholder Issues and Concerns
Identifying and Addressing Group Cultural Barriers: Managing Group Dynamics
Identifying and  Addressing Individual Barriers: Increasing Emotional Intelligence
Exercise: Negotiating Options for Stakeholder Agreement

V.  What to Do Next: Seminar Wrap Up and Follow-On References


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Working Successfully with Stakeholders