Project Management #3 – Engaging internal and external stakeholders early on will ensure your target project succeeds.

on Monday, 06 January 2014.

Crystal Clear Management Solutions have worked with a number of organisations, successfully delivering their programmes and projects. This is the third blog in the project management series and will focus on the importance of engaging the stakeholders to guarantee project success.

There is enough studies published by CIPD and Gallup to highlight there is a significant cost of disengaged workers. The latest figures published in 2008 by Gallup were $300bn in the USA and £60bn in the UK in lost productivity alone due to disengaged workers. Further studies indicate that only three out of ten are actively engaged with their work. So if nine of ten of the key barriers to the success of change programmes are people related, why is engagement and involvement not considered an important part of Project Delivery?

And now we know the impact of disengaged workers, how do we as managers and leaders promote and sustain an engaged workforce. On a parallel note, there is enough evidence that organisations committed to developing and embedding employee engagement strategies radically improve their performance and project success.

What are the impacts besides cost due to disengaged workforce

Project failure
Sickness
Absenteeism
Grievance
Stress / Conflict
Resistance / Sabotage
Turnover of personnel
Low morale in workforce

What are the benefits of an engaged workforce
Motivated workforce

Project successes

Ownership and increase commitment

Supportive structure

Strong leadership

Increase performance and profitability

New innovations

Respect and trust

This article two important areas that are quick wins to promote engagement.

Communication

Generating trust

Communication

Most organisations indicate the importance of the quality and quantity of communication, but ask employees on how well internal communication is received and there is uncertainty. Companies usually have the right intention but communication is measured on the impact. Therefore alignment of intention and impact are essential.

1) When starting a new project, one of the most important tasks is to communicate the intention and ensure there is clear sense of alignment. This should not only prevent aimless drifting but must galvanise, direct, energise and enthuse people to a common purpose.

2) The communication intent must have meaning and resonance to individuals to create ownership at every level.

3) Think about and clarify “WHAT IS IT FOR THEM (WIIFT)”before talking to stakeholders

4) How do you want individuals to respond to the communication

5) Making individuals involved and being able to influence and be part of the project

Generating Trust

Leaders and Managers must generate and sustain trust from the start of a project right through to commissioning. Without trust, projects cannot succeed.

1) Leaders / managers should empower, respect and facilitate their staff instead of controlling them

2) Leaders and Managers should clarify to the stakeholders the reasons for the project and the outcomes

3) Creating mutual trust between Leaders, Managers and Stakeholders

4) Creating two way open and transparent communication

5) Employees must feel that they can voice their opinions and be part of the solution

6) Organisations should show integrity

7) Treating stakeholders as individuals, with fairness, respect and employee wellbeing

There are plenty of other ways to engage your workforce but these have been proven to be effective and efficient. As our business partner, we ensure that your workforce are engaged from the start and incorporate all the aspects to make your project and organisation successful.

Therefore isn’t it obvious that making your workforce an important part of your project and organisation will increase overall performance. There is adequate research completed by Gallup that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and profitability / sales and employee retention and customer satisfaction. Highly engaged individuals were found in high-performance organisations. The main reason for change is to increase the performance, so why are people not engaged from the start.

In the next instalment we will look at planning your resources for project success. We would love to hear your experiences on Project Management, Business Case and Engaging Stakeholders, please leave your comments here or contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Crystal Clear Management Solutions provides Project and Change implementation support to large and global businesses across Mining, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas and the Utilities.

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