There are many obstacles that stakeholder engagement professionals require to overcome, regardless of their engagement reason, project size or industry.
Although we often use the term ‘stakeholder management’, which would indicate control and management, the overall aim is to engage, consult and collaborate with stakeholders.
The whole stakeholder engagement process can be made easier by centralising all activities in one single system, allowing you to save time and resources.
Here's what your engagement process would usually look like:
- Create a stakeholder database
- Determine the levels of engagement
- Communicate with your stakeholders
- Receive and manage feedback
- Streamline your stakeholder process
Create a stakeholder database
Managing your stakeholder database effectively is paramount to success. A complete and cleansed stakeholder database becomes the basis of your engagement process.
Spend time creating detailed stakeholder profiles, capturing all information of importance and relevance to your project.
The volume of stakeholders is of less importance than capturing and engaging with the right stakeholders. Ensure you have the right mix of stakeholders with the correct interests and influences on your project.
Bear in mind the environment you will use to store your stakeholder data. A GDPR-compliant system is the best way to ensure the safety of information while avoiding data breaches and their repercussions.
Right content and engagement level
Take into consideration their influence and interest in your project, and create targeted distribution lists.
Set the appropriate level of engagement and the forms of communication that are best suited to each group.
Here is an example of how you can group your stakeholders:
1. Low-Interest/Low-Influence Stakeholders
These stakeholders require minimal effort and need only to know where to go to stay current on the project.
2. High-Interest/Low-Influence Stakeholders
These will need a little more consideration, as the high-interest motivation in them demands participation at some level in the project.
3. High-Influence/Low-Interest Stakeholders
A different breed of animal. If you rub them the wrong way, they can hurt your project.
However, if you take the “keep them satisfied” approach, their low-interest level will drive their actions. In this case, being satisfied means they will just let things go along as you want them to.
4. High-Influence/High-Interest Stakeholders
These stakeholders are the ones you must focus the bulk of your efforts.
They have ideas, and they can hurt your project if you ignore them. The engagement level with them must be personal and dynamic.
Creating targeted distribution lists will provide you with the capability to reach each group independently and adapt your engagement level accordingly.
Communicate with your Stakeholders
- events (face-to-face and online),
Where possible, try to reduce the need to copy and paste valuable data to and from different software applications (excel spreadsheets, multiple databases).
This will help to minimise room for error, save time and resources, and keep your data more secure in the process.
Receive and manage feedback easily
Whatever form of communication you choose to use, providing your stakeholders with a way to get back in touch is crucial.
Look at ways you can record, track and log stakeholder feedback and issues.
Make it easier for your team to access your whole engagement process, so they can view every element including your stakeholder database, communications, feedback and any issues raised.
Streamline your stakeholder engagement process
Consider stakeholder management tools that make your engagement process easier.
Try to ensure you can manage every aspect of your engagement process, reducing the need to use multiple applications and saving you invaluable time and resources.
Using one system for all your engagement processes will provide you with full visibility of every aspect of your engagement process to all of your team.
This will in turn make the recording, communicating and analysing much easier throughout your whole engagement process.
Discover how you can centralise all your stakeholder engagement activities, obtain powerful insights and deliver better outcomes with Tractvity.
Book a personalised 1-on-1 demo of Tractivity, delivered by a member of our expert team.