We’ve looked at why stakeholders sometimes lose their enthusiasm for a project and how to tell if you have a stakeholder that’s run out of steam. But how can you get a stalled stakeholder going again? Project management success often relies on garnering support from every stakeholder, and below we’ve outlined a few tricks to help get everyone excited again.
Communication is key. Many of the reasons stakeholders lose interest can be traced back to a lack of good communication. Perhaps your team is so busy that status updates have been sporadic, or maybe you just haven’t been offering the kind of information stakeholders really want. Improve the situation by building strong communication methodologies into your project management strategy. Ensure every stakeholder receives information appropriate to their role and make two-way communication a priority.
Create opportunities to discuss concerns and evaluate new solutions. It’s possible there are deeper issues stakeholders are working against, such as outdated processes or inefficient operational directives that may be further hampered by your project. These are the kinds of difficult issues companies are often hesitant to face internally, so consider the possibility of bringing in an external consultancy who can help the organization tackle dilemmas without passing judgment. An outside perspective can be instrumental in getting a project back on track.
Help the stakeholder overcome obstacles they’re facing. They may be feeling political pressure to abandon the project or change its direction. Can your team provide those political forces with the information they need to embrace your project’s achievables? There’s a good chance stakeholders don’t have time to support your project while accomplishing the objectives of their own job. Is there a way you can facilitate their ongoing participation with fewer demands on their time? Your flexibility could be an essential element in retaining stakeholders’ support.