Live from BAWorld: Getting Your Stakeholders to Help You

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Marie Bankuti from Tether Free Vision presented “Help Me Help You! How to Proactively Educate Your Business Stakeholders for Greater Project Success” this morning at BAWorld Boston. She discussed the typical challenges to project success that we see on projects and had the audience contribute. The ideas the audience came up with included conflicting interests, trouble articulating a vision of success, business users were cocky and thought they could do it without IT’s overhead, no time from the business, and pressure to hit dates and cannot focus on what is really needed in that time.

To summarize Marie’s suggestions:

  1. Understand your stake, meaning vision or mission. Understand yours, your users’, your IT groups’, your and company’s.
  2. Nurture your relationships, including understanding the people who you work with, their pains, and even what they do outside work.
  3. Explain your process. Do this through things like case studies of it working or not, and just explaining why it’s needed.
  4. Define expectations. Make sure it’s clear how you each will communicate, what the roles and responsibilities are, and what accountability there is.
  5. Ensure credibility. This means things like disagreeing tactfully and with respect, collaborate, follow through on commitments, but in general model the behavior you seek from the teams you work with.

All in all, Marie gave a nice general overview of how to get teams to work with you.

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