Sorry this one is a little longer than my normal quick tips, but it is an important one. I hear it time and time again, why do I have to spell it out for them all the time? Why are they so reluctant to do the things I ask when this project is for them? Well there are a few reasons for this. Here are a couple of key ones:
- It’s important to remember that for a stakeholder, the project might be a responsibility of theirs but they also have their normal job to do as well.
- Your stakeholders may be very intelligent but that doesn’t mean they understand why things are done when it comes to projects.
So how can you help them help you.
- Use the “Keep it Simple” Principle. When you communicate with and ask others to do things, keep it simple and always explain why that task or activity needs to happen. Don’t assume it will be obvious to them.
- Keep them informed and help them understand impacts. If they understand why they have to and the flow on effect of not doing something they are more likely to do it.
- Walk them through your approach. Have a strategy as to how you are going to work with teams, what their involvement will be and why. Walk the stakeholder through this in detail so they understand and are in a position to answer questions from their team.
- Give them everything. Your stakeholders may have never done any of this before, so you will need to provide them with all the resources and information they need to do what you need them to.
Obviously there are many things you will need to do to achieve this, however here is one tool that will help you along the way. I developed a communication tool on one of my programs that has proved very useful and is now widely used. It’s simple, straight forward and easy to read.
You can use this tool to communicate the things that need to happen and who needs to do them.
You have the option of PowerPoint or Excel.
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