This paper by R. Max Wideman was first published as part of Chapter 17 in A Field Guide to Project Management, 2nd Edition, edited by David I. Cleland and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey, 2004.
The original paper has received minor updates and is published here August 2015.
Keeping Internal Stakeholders on Your Side
Having recruited members to the project team, the next step is to form a viable working group. It is a question of team building covered in detail in this book in Section V: "Team Management". However, a few pointers are worth mentioning here in the context of motivating stakeholders:
- Make sure that the project is in alignment with the enterprise's strategic objectives. An excellent approach to this end is the Hierarchy of Objectives tool described by Robert Youker in his paper Defining the Hierarchy of Project Objectives: Linking Organizational Strategy, Programs and Projects.
- Decide on and maintain an appropriate level of stakeholder involvement, particularly for those who are not directly involved in the project team.
- Start the team-building process by holding a project start-up workshop including both the principal stakeholders and those who will be doing the actual work. A checklist for this workshop should include:
- Description of existing situation
- Goals and objectives of the project, or problems the project is designed to solve
- Consequent assumptions, benefits, risks, and constraints
- Tentative overall schedule and work plan or operating mode
- Allocation or delegation of responsibilities
- How communication will be conducted, formally and informally
- Technical interactivity expectations
- Working as a team, develop the project intent into a viable scope-of-work that obtains buy-in to the project's objectives
- Similarly, list the project's KSIs such as:
- Reduced customer complaints as measured by the number of entries in the complaints log
- Improved processing of accounting as measured by time to invoice
- Improved product quality as measured by reduced mean time between failure
- Better public image as measured by increased positive publicity and reduced negative publicity
- Improved profitability as measured by reduced processing costs
- Better market penetration as measured by increased market share
- Encourage full and part-time team members to continue doing their best by maintaining a positive project culture. This requires the following:
- Maintaining visible, clear and consistent objectives, that are understood and well worthwhile
- Ensuring open, honest, accurate, and continuing communication
- Demonstrating evident benefit to individual team members by way of experience and/or enjoyable effort
- Rapid removal of obstacles to performance
- Visible recognition and reward for excellence
Robert. Defining the Hierarchy of Project Objectives: Linking Organizational
Strategy, Programs and Projects. See www.maxwideman.com/guests/hierarchy/abstract.htm
3. You can find Robert Youker's paper at www.maxwideman.com/guests/hierarchy/abstract.htm