Projects are an inherently human endeavor, and successfully implementing change involves understanding and engaging with a wide range of stakeholder perspectives. When important stakeholder groups are inadvertently missed or misunderstood, change initiatives become tricky and might even stall entirely. Yet, in complex organizational environments, understanding and analyzing the stakeholder landscape can be difficult. It requires us to navigate organizational politics whilst also understanding different stakeholders might want different outcomes from the change initiative.
This course provides practical tools and techniques to help understand and balance these seemingly disparate stakeholder views. Utilizing these techniques will allow delegates to better understand, connect, and engage with their stakeholders, which will contribute to enabling better project outcomes.
Identifying and categorising stakeholders
Power and politics
What do our stakeholders think the problem is?
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Why follow this course?
In my experience, teams focus far too much on the tools, technologies and methodologies. There is less attention paid to the people—the “stakeholders”—that actually benefit from (or feel the pain associated with) whatever change is being implemented. Project teams talk about how stakeholders need to be “educated” and “brought on a journey” but fail to acknowledge that some stakeholders will probably never agree with some changes. This failure to properly acknowledge the stakeholder landscape's complexity means that change projects inadvertently end up ignoring it. However, pretending that the complexity doesn’t exist tends to lead to bad outcomes. Change projects stall, fail, or engage in ‘success theatre’ (where all the boxes are ticked: on time, on scope, but with zero benefits).
Put simply: If we’re not conducting projects to benefit at least some groups of people, then why are we doing them in the first place? And if a project benefits one group of people to the detriment of others, shouldn’t we be honest and empathetic about that?
About the teacher
Adrian Reed is a true advocate of the analysis profession. In his day job, he acts as Principal Consultant and Director at Blackmetric Business Solutions where he provides business analysis consultancy and training solutions to a range of clients in varying industries.