BUILDING A CULTURE OF ADVOCACY IN YOUR Project Team

BUILDING A CULTURE OF ADVOCACY IN YOUR Project Team

There are a number of strategies available to help get others involved in project advocacy, but those efforts will only go so far. To really support the principles on an ongoing basis, your Project Team should embody a culture of advocacy, where every project management team member understands their role and embraces it. It may sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. We’ve put together a handful of tips to help nurture project advocacy from the ground up.

Identify end users as partners. As Project Teams deal with busy schedules and projects that are likely competing for some of the same internal resources, it’s far too easy to fall into the trap where team members begin to view project champions as the real customers, and end users as simply those people who will be affected by each project’s achievables. Instead, encourage everyone in your Project Team to treat end users as fully-vested partners.

Connect stakeholders—champions, end users, team members, etc.—as often as possible. First, understand this means there should be a good percentage of project meetings that are open to people outside your Project Team. Next, whenever stakeholders have been invited to a team meeting, ensure time is set aside to acknowledge their presence (particularly important in large projects, where external project management consulting professionals or other outside collaborators may not know everyone in the room), and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions, raise issues, or provide information.

Address advocacy missteps quickly. If you spot a team member overlooking an opportunity to reinforce their role as an advocate, simply mention it to them. With hectic schedules and a full workload, they probably didn’t realize their actions were off the mark and will likely appreciate the reminder. Consider including advocacy refreshers and tips during routine team meetings, so the message within your Project Team remains consistent.

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