Collaborative working techniques play a crucial role in establishing and sustaining positive interactions with project stakeholders. By fostering open communication, promoting transparency, and aligning goals, PMOs can more effectively manage stakeholder collaboration The collaborative working techniques outlined in this blog post provide practical strategies to actively manage stakeholders relationships. 

PMO Best Practices Stakeholder Collaboration and Relationship Management


Stakeholder Relationships Tip #1: Open and Transparent Communication 

Project management involves diverse stakeholders, including clients, team members, executives, and regulatory bodies, each with their specific vision and expectations. Clients expect timely delivery and quality, team members seek clarity and support, executives prioritize ROI, etc. Successful project management requires balancing these varied expectations through effective communication and strategic alignment. 

Open communication is at the very heart of effective stakeholder relationship management. Establishing clear channels for two-way communication is necessary to gain an understanding of stakeholders’ various expectations, concerns, and requirements. Regular updates and reports will contribute to a transparent environment, minimizing misunderstandings and aligning expectations with project realities. Accessible project documentation and timely communication of project progress fosters a sense of collaboration and builds trust among stakeholders. 


Stakeholder Collaboration Tip #2: Requirement Gathering, Planning, and Decision-Making  

Stakeholder relationship management should start from the early stages of a project. Collaborative techniques, such as stakeholder workshops and interactive sessions, can help ensure the active involvement of all relevant parties early on. By bringing together diverse perspectives, PMOs can capture a comprehensive set of requirements, reducing the likelihood of oversights. This collaborative approach to scoping results in more accurate project specifications. Moreover, it creates a sense of ownership among stakeholders. 

At later stages of the project cycle, PMOs should incorporate stakeholders into the planning and decision-making processes. Collaborative working techniques like participatory planning sessions and decision-making forums will empower stakeholders and help manage relationships. 

Because stakeholders are encouraged to contribute their valuable expertise and insights, they can ensure that decisions are well-informed. This collaborative approach also assists in securing buy-in and support from key stakeholders. 


Stakeholder Management Tip #3: Feedback Loops and Agile Methodologies  

It’s well and good to involve key stakeholders early on, but it is equally important to provide feedback and follow-up. Establishing mechanisms for continuous feedback ensures timely adjustments in response to any changing requirements or unforeseen challenges. Collaborative feedback sessions, involving stakeholders at various stages of the project, provide an opportunity for iterative improvements. This approach will enhance the quality of deliverables while solidifying a culture of responsiveness and adaptability. 

Agile methodologies are particularly well-suited to feedback-oriented stakeholder management. Agile collaborative working techniques promote regular feedback and the ability to pivot swiftly in response to emerging challenges. 


Stakeholder Collaboration Tip #4: Training and Facilitation

To effectively engage stakeholders, PMOs should ensure they possess the necessary skills and understanding of projects. Empowering stakeholders through training and capacity-building initiatives is a collaborative technique that pays long-term dividends. This involves offering stakeholders tools, insights, guidance, and training to help them understand their role in the project lifecycle.  

Contrary to some popular misconceptions, stakeholder training should also concern the top of the corporate pyramid. In fact, collaborative working techniques have proven tremendously effective in managing executive stakeholder relationships. Many C-level decision-makers have invaluable insight to bring to the table, but they might not be acquainted with project management. It is up to the PMO to fill the gaps.  

When different stakeholders voice very diverse opinions and priorities, facilitation techniques can help build consensus. Consider hiring facilitators to guide discussions, ensuring that all voices are heard, and conflicts are resolved constructively. In addition to better decision-making, consensus-building may also contribute to a positive stakeholder experience. 


To Wrap it Up 

We’ve seen that leveraging collaborative working techniques is crucial for effective stakeholder collaboration and relationship management. In the digital age, this requires the support of fit-for-purpose technology. PMOs should consider harnessing collaborative work management platforms to streamline interactions, share real-time updates, and facilitate collaboration, especially in projects involving geographically dispersed stakeholders.  


Read more about CWM and PPM:

Share the article