This paper is copyright to Yogi Schulz, © 2010. Reprinted with permission.
Published August 2010

Introduction | Project Goal | Project Sponsor | Project Manager | Project Benefits 
Project Plan & Status | Project Budget & Status | Project Organization | Project Resources
Project Steering Committee | Stakeholder Communication | Change Management
Project Technology | Conclusions and Recommendations

Stakeholder Communication

Good - I've ensured effective communication to the various stakeholders. I've led efforts by the project team to enhance collaboration among stakeholders to achieve project success. For example, I've seen the project team facilitate discussions between the materials receiving group and the manufacturing scheduling group to reduce bottlenecks.

Bad - The communication to the various stakeholders that I've witnessed is sporadic. The project team is sending inconsistent, even contradictory messages. Some stakeholders are communicating inconsistent messages about their involvement with and commitment to the project. For example, the project team planned for newsletters. The first one was excellent, the second one was good and now 6 months have gone by and we have yet to see issue #3.

Ugly - I've not observed effective communication to the various stakeholders. The project team is unsure what to say or is not communicating anything for fear of offending someone. Communication among stakeholders is tense, bordering on conflict. For example, the project team made some useful suggestions for improving customer data quality in the CRM system. However, the Sales Department saw these ideas as over-kill and was critical of the project team. We haven't heard much from the project team since then.

The Fix

Develop ideas for ramping up stakeholder communications. Use Email, web sites, newsletters and town hall meetings. Take steps to enhance collaboration among stakeholders, perhaps through workshops, to build consensus on goals and priorities. Sometimes formally signed-off decision records and formally approved project deliverables are needed to convincingly demonstrate progress.

Successful project managers create a comprehensive stakeholder communications plan and execute it seriously.

Project Steering Committee  Project Steering Committee

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