Communication with stakeholders
|Communication with stakeholders|
One of the most important elements in the area of effective project management is communication with stakeholders. It involves choosing the right way to flow information in the team involved in the project. Key stakeholders take an active part in the project implementation, and afterwards they wait for final results of implementation. Precise planning of communication and distribution of messages among project participants, reporting and administration of the project closure process brings tangible benefits of achieving success in the project. Responsibility for the final result of the project lies with the project manager. You need to identify all people and organizations that have an impact on the project and think about how to build a relationship with them.
One of the reasons for failures in the project is poor communication. Both during joining and during the implementation of the project, the project team should constantly report a number of different questions and clarify some ambiguities. Effective communication is characterized by openness while analyzing all major issues in accordance with the reported issues. The condition for efficient communication is the elimination of all barriers hindering the transmission of messages and messages. In the fastest time, the project team should receive useful information. Communication is an inseparable element during the implementation of the project.
Channels of communication with stakeholders
A communication channel is a way of communicating between the sender and the recipient. In this case, you can talk about a certain relationship with stakeholders and make the right choice of communication tool. Stands out:
- direct - "face-to-face", conferences, deliberations, debates, negotiations, deliberations, public appearances, meetings,
- indirect - using a mobile phone, television, computer network (NetMeeting application, WebCast), videoconferencing,
- written communication: taking notes, reports, protocols, sending a telegram, letters, e-mail, elaboration displayed on a computer monitor, faxes, notices, internal bulletins,
- visual message: visualization on a graph, diagram, photo or video recordings.
It is important for the stakeholder to choose how to provide information. It depends on its features, meaning, ease of coding and effective dissemination of an information message. Cooperation with selected stakeholders is bilateral. An enterprise affects individual values of stakeholders, and stakeholders affect the value of an enterprise. A network of various relations with stakeholders is developing.
Strictly speaking, communication is treated as a phenomenon of communication between people. The transmission of information occurs between the sender and the recipient. The sender's goal is to formulate such a message so that the other party participating in the conversation understand it in its entirety. The information should be full, current, understandable, accurate, concise, reliable and on the subject.
The most important value is increasing the degree of trust and creating a positive image among all stakeholders during the project. Know the needs, requirements and expectations of individual stakeholders. The project has a long-term orientation due to longer cooperation with stakeholders, where expenditures are used at present, and the effects visible at the end of the project.
Tools for communication with stakeholders
Flawless identification of leading stakeholders will bring effective benefits during the implementation of the project in the company. One of the elements of success in the project is the full involvement of relevant stakeholders. You can be involved in four ways - communication, consultation, partnership and dialogue.
Communication with stakeholders is a fundamental and mainly used tool for discussions with stakeholders. The most common are personal, direct conversations, telephone contact or e-mail contact.
Supporting elements for internal communication include:
- training and courses of employees,
- electronic newsletters,
- intranet sites,
- satisfaction surveys,
- dialogue / consultation sessions.
On the other hand, external communication is carried out using:
- thematic conferences,
- Internet forums,
- open meetings,
- information from press sources - storage,
- meetings with representatives of companies,
- marketing communication.
Communication has many meanings and it is impossible to define this concept in an unambiguous way. The most important is the unification of the language of communication to the group of stakeholders receiving this message and better communication flow.
The principles of effective communication with stakeholders
The management of communication with stakeholders is subject to observation and subsequent evaluation, in particular taking into account certain criteria. The obtained results show how the effectiveness of the course of information and communication processes with stakeholders functions. This will increase the company's transparency and build long-term relationships with stakeholders, which is one of the conditions for the company's development in a logical manner. The main criteria are:
- determining the level of information needs for stakeholders,
- costs of implementing information and communication systems,
- quality of information and communication,
- broadening mutual trust,
- using oral and written communication,
- communication efficiency and possession of information in later decision making,
- the effects of decisions made,
- level of communication using computerization,
- creating new communication media,
- skillful use of face to face meetings with stakeholders,
- skilful building a good relationship with stakeholders.
Methods used to communicate with stakeholders
PMBOK communication management in the project includes the following three stages: communication management planning, communication management, communication control in the project.
Communication management planning is the process of developing an appropriate project communication approach and plan based on the needs and information requirements of interested parties as well as available organizational resources. At the beginning, basic data on the project management plan, stakeholder identification, environmental factors impact and organizational process assets are introduced. On this basis, we use methods and techniques, i.e.:
- analysis of communication requirements
- communication technology - fast information transfer, information availability, ease of use, project team, sensitivity and confidentiality of information
- communication models - coding, decoding, sending messages, knowledge, skills, feedback
- methods of communication - interactive communication, "push" and "pull" communication
Partial use of the above methods will allow for the updating of project documents and will prepare a preliminary communication management plan with stakeholders.
Communication management is the process of creating, collecting, disseminating, storing, retrieving and restoring project information in accordance with the communication management plan. At the beginning, basic data on the project management plan, a report on the results of stakeholders' work, the impact of environmental factors and the assets of organizational processes are introduced. On this basis, we use methods and techniques, i.e.:
- communication technology
- communication models
- communication methods
- information management system
- reporting on the effectiveness of communication
The above methods are used to effectively use communication in the project. It is necessary to update the communication management plan with stakeholders, project documents and assets of organizational processes.
Control of communication in the project is a process of monitoring and communication in communication throughout the project's lifecycle in order to meet the information needs of stakeholders. Initially, basic data is introduced on the project management plan, project communication, environmental factors impacts and organizational process assets. On this basis, we use methods and techniques, i.e.:
- information management system
- expert rating
The above methods are used for efficient and effective communication in the project. The final elements are presenting information on the results of work and communication with stakeholders, updating the management plan and project documents.
The use of the communication audit will allow the examination of the external and internal communication mechanism during the project implementation. Both of these dimensions use a variety of research tools. When conducting a communication audit, a list of questions is created and three communication levels are taken into account based on the responses received:
- technical - communication channels,
- organizational - communication networks, organizational culture, proposals for solutions for coding and decoding messages, communication noises,
- Behavioral - individual characteristics of key stakeholders during communication.
On this basis, the internal communication audit will identify any information gaps, delays in communication, selection and rejection of inappropriate communication channels or problems in "down-up" communication. Appropriate preparation of the communication audit methodology will in a way compare the current state of communication with stakeholders with respect to the assumed level of possibilities.
Examples of Communication with stakeholders
- Holding regular meetings: Regular meetings should be held to allow stakeholders to provide updates on their progress and discuss any problems or challenges. Additionally, these meetings can also provide a platform for stakeholders to collaborate, share ideas, and provide input on project decisions.
- Sending progress reports: Keeping stakeholders informed of progress is essential when managing a project. Progress reports should be sent to stakeholders regularly and should include information about the project's progress, any challenges faced, or any changes that have been made in order to ensure the project is going according to plan.
- Creating a communication plan: Developing a communication plan before the project begins will help ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed and up-to-date on the project's progress. The plan should include how often updates should be sent, who should receive updates, and any other details that may be relevant to the project.
- Facilitating open dialogue: Allowing stakeholders to openly discuss the project and its progress can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues are addressed in a timely manner. Open dialogue should be encouraged between stakeholders and should be facilitated by the project manager.
Advantages of Communication with stakeholders
Effective communication with stakeholders offers many benefits, such as:
- Improved communication – By communicating with the stakeholders, project team members can ensure that they are all on the same page, which will help them to collaborate better and work towards a common goal.
- Increased efficiency – By communicating with stakeholders, project managers can ensure that any changes or decisions are made quickly and efficiently.
- Improved decision-making – Stakeholders can provide valuable input into the project which will improve the overall decision-making process.
- Increased trust – Stakeholders need to be able to trust the project manager and the team to do the best job possible, and effective communication can help to build that trust.
- Greater accountability – By communicating with stakeholders, project managers and team members can take ownership of their roles and be held accountable for their actions.
- Increased customer satisfaction – Stakeholders can provide feedback throughout the project which will help to ensure that the final product meets their needs and expectations.
Limitations of Communication with stakeholders
One of the limitations of communication with stakeholders is that it can be difficult to establish and maintain effective communication with each stakeholder, as the project manager does not have direct control over all of them. This can lead to communication breakdowns, delays in project implementation, and misalignment of expectations. Additionally, communication with stakeholders can be hindered by language barriers, cultural differences, and conflicting interests. Furthermore, communication can be affected by the lack of resources, such as time and personnel, and the lack of knowledge or experience of the project manager. Finally, the lack of trust between the project manager and stakeholders can lead to limited communication and a decline in the effectiveness of the project.
One of the most important elements in the area of effective project management is communication with stakeholders. Other approaches related to communication with stakeholders include:
- Ensuring clear communication: It is important to communicate regularly with stakeholders in order to ensure that the project is running on track and that any issues are being addressed promptly.
- Establishing trust: It is important to establish trust between the project manager, stakeholders and the team in order to ensure a successful project.
- Identifying risks: Identifying any potential risks that could arise during the project is important in order to be able to mitigate them and ensure the project's success.
- Gathering feedback: Gathering feedback from stakeholders and team members is an important part of effective project management.
- Improving processes: Regular review and improvement of processes can help to ensure that the project is running efficiently and on track.
In conclusion, clear communication, establishing trust, identifying risks, gathering feedback, and improving processes are all essential aspects of effective project management, particularly when it comes to communication with stakeholders.
- McPhail, T. L. (2010). Global communication: Theories, stakeholders, and trends. John Wiley & Sons.
- Morsing, M. (2006). Corporate social responsibility as strategic auto‐communication: on the role of external stakeholders for member identification. Business Ethics: A European Review, 15(2), 171-182.
- Damian, D. E., & Zowghi, D. (2002, September). The impact of stakeholders' geographical distribution on managing requirements in a multi-site organization. In Requirements Engineering, 2002. Proceedings. IEEE Joint International Conference on (p. 319-328). IEEE.