When it comes to executing a successful project, effective communication and management with stakeholders is essential. Stakeholders can include clients, employees, shareholders, and any other individuals or groups that have an interest in the project, more specifically and interest in the project being successful.
Poor communication and management with stakeholders can lead to numerous pain points and setbacks, causing delays and potentially even project failure. On the other hand, effective communication and management can lead to the smooth execution of a project, ultimately leading to its success.
Why Should You Care?
Misaligned expectations: If stakeholders are not kept informed or their expectations are not managed properly, it can lead to confusion and frustration. According to a survey by the Project Management Institute, unrealistic expectations were the top reason for project failure, with 39% of respondents citing it as a cause. This can result in missed deadlines, budget overruns, and overall project failure.
Poor decision-making: Without proper communication and input from all relevant stakeholders, decision-making can become biased or incomplete. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, inadequate communication was the second most common reason for project failure, with 31% of respondents citing it as a cause. Insufficient or mis-timed information can lead to poor decision-making and ultimately lead to project failure.
Conflicts and disputes: Poor communication and management can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts between stakeholders, resulting in delays and potential project failure. According to a survey by the Project Management Institute (PMI), team conflicts were the third most common reason for project failure, with 27% of respondents citing it as a cause.
Loss of support: Stakeholders may lose confidence in the project if they are not kept informed or feel that their input is not valued. This can lead to a loss of support and ultimately project failure. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, a lack of support from key stakeholders was the fourth most common reason for project failure, with 24% of respondents citing it as a cause.
Decreased morale: Poor communication and management can lead to decreased morale among employees and stakeholders, which can ultimately affect the project's success. A study by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that low team morale was the fifth most common reason for project failure, with 23% of respondents citing it as a cause.
What Your Project Managers Can Do:
Having a good and solid communication plan and structure is essential for the success of a project. Also known as a stakeholder communication matrix. Here are a few ways that you can ensure communication is being implemented and used correctly.
Establish clear communication channels: Establishing clear communication channels with stakeholders is essential for keeping everyone informed and on the same page. This can include regular meetings, updates, and easily accessible communication channels such as email or project management software.
Set and manage expectations: Setting and managing expectations with stakeholders is crucial for the success of a project. This includes setting clear goals and deadlines and making sure all stakeholders are aware of them.
Involve stakeholders in decision-making: Involving stakeholders in decision-making ensures that all relevant perspectives are considered and helps build buy-in and support for the project.
Value stakeholder input: Valuing stakeholder input and making sure it is incorporated into the project shows that their opinions and concerns are valued, which can increase morale and support for the project.
Regularly check in: Regular check-ins with stakeholders help ensure that everything is on track and allows for any issues to be addressed in a timely manner.
Conclusion: How to Effectively Manage Stakeholders and Communicate:
Effective communication and management with stakeholders is essential for the success of a project. By addressing pain points early, or strategizing around good stakeholder communication and management, you can avoid a lot of frustration and cost. Projects can run smoothly and ultimately be successful.
If you're struggling to effectively manage stakeholder relationships or keep everyone informed about the progress of your project, consider working with an expert to develop a clear communication plan, manage stakeholder expectations, and ensure that everyone is on the same page throughout the project.
If you're in need of help with stakeholder communication and management get in touch.