Example from other students :
People (the project team; piloting and implementing) who didn’t believe in the strategic aim or perhaps didn’t understand it, so, were not ready to step on the plane for the journey. Massive strategic organisational transformation of the design process, plus ownership of the design and delivery into a real product, required something extra at the start; certainly, the CAT and House of Success would have helped.
But we ran this concurrently; the team were not fully engaged; a key stakeholder at the core was political, in knowing the design function had to change but never wanted to ‘give away’ but ‘only gain’ tasks to build a bigger internal capability. The opposite to the strategy but they were of course appointed as a joint sponsor; I suspect no choice given and they saw it as good to be in the middle of the politics to influence.
The effect was, confusion and re-writing of the outputs, duplication or work but worst, a negative atmosphere and mistrust towards the external suppliers that we wanted to partner with and co-locate into our business.
Trust we have all had similar experience and we love to understand the different ways you managed around this, towards success?
2 : Hi David
Would love to further understand the issues that led to "turning" this stakeholder so difficult, as it might assist the relevance of my response.
On the positive side, and this has also been referred to in Module 3, I find it key to understand the objectives of other stakeholder (KPIs, IPAs, impact on their business). Following from this I try to present the business case in ways that appeal to these. If this is truly impossible because it does not make sense to both partners then the, mutual, business case, should be reviewed.
This can be relative to hard business case scenarios and personal motivations, fulfilment triggers.
On the negative side, I have also experienced notable failures in achieving alignment of key stakeholders. Thank you for the following description of their reasons: "never wanted to ‘give away’ but ‘only gain’ tasks to build a bigger internal capability" to which I would add empowering silos.
This is a perfect reflection of my experience of a key stakeholder. When this "political agenda' is very strong I too struggle with navigating it.
Since such agendas are usually not positive, for the project, business or key legacy measures I would like to ask the group for experience and ideas that assist in improving "project environment" .
3: I totally agree with 'I find it key to understand the objectives of other stakeholder (KPIs, IPAs, impact on their business). Following from this I try to present the business case in ways that appeal to these'.
I always try to map out each business area and lead and get time with them to understand their view point and objectives. How can the project support them and what is anything makes them feel nervous. I then try to find a common ground and build a relationship with them to keep them on my side. Much better to have a stakeholder who might not be fully for the project but that respects you and time taken to understand their viewpoint. It's hard to take offence when they like you!
I also look to identify who they have close relationships with and who influences them. Then I take time to build a relationship with that person. Never underestimate when that goodwill will payback. Often the most influential person to them isn't a peer or leader but those reporting to them who take on the more technical side of things. Always look for a win:win and be prepared to be flexible where you can.
Even more important again is to try and build a relationship with those who are against the project. Some empathy and time can go a long way. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (Corleone, 1974).
The only time this has failed me is a leader and then a peer in my last company who always 'had fingers in pies' (Shakespeare, 1831). He didn't want processes automated as he liked to be needed. I tried all the tricks in my book and genuinely liked him as a person but he pushed buttons as a colleague. In the end I kept email trails, shared my frustrations with sponsors and key leaders and let them deal with it.