3 Signs Your Project Has a Stalled Stakeholder

Stakeholders, even those with a lot invested in a project, sometimes run out of steam. But before you can determine why their energy is flagging and get them re-engaged, you need to identify if this is really the problem or if something else is going on. Look through these 3 common signs to see if you’re dealing with a stalled stakeholder.

1 – They express recurring doubts about your project management team’s decisions on strategic issues. Their misgivings are sometimes voiced in public, where there’s a chance they’ll manifest similar reluctance in others, but they’re more often expressed in private or during team-only meetings. Sometimes part of a larger effort to delay or derail the project, these doubts more frequently are simply a sign that the stakeholder is no longer sure they want to (or are politically able to) support your project.

2 – They ask the same questions repeatedly. This usually stems from a genuine lack of understanding about the project, and your previous answers either were incomplete or they didn’t address the root of the stakeholder’s question. Occasionally this tactic is used by stakeholders who are hoping to elicit a different response from your team because they don’t agree with—or perhaps are just ambivalent about—the current direction of the project.

3 – They interfere with the project’s progress, either by delaying their own support or by causing your team to wait for approval from others. They might even try to undermine the team’s ability to retain the support of other stakeholders. It’s most often because they simply aren’t sure how much weight they want to throw behind the project, but sometimes it’s because they have unresolved concerns about how the project is going. On rare occasions the stakeholder may be holding out to secure greater involvement for themselves or their team.

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