As we kick off 2017 and plan ahead for all of our exciting upcoming initiatives, we embark on new projects with valued stakeholders. From the perspective of being a new client vendor, we have to approach this as a test of trust. The client trusts us to be experts in our field and guide them through a successful implementation and rollout of a project. We are the experts, and now is our time to shine. You will also encounter this as you begin new initiatives with internal or external stakeholders. Here are a few key tips to gain stakeholders’ trust as we build these new relationships.
Getting to Know You
- Does your stakeholder get into the office early or stay late? Schedule necessary calls around their most available times. This means being flexible outside of normal business hours as needed
- Does your stakeholder prefer email communication to phone calls?
- Create a timeline with stages. It’s easier to break down a project in major stages such as pre-launch, launch, and post-launch
- Keep it to 1 page and in a table format for an easy read
- Don’t forget to include milestones
- Take detailed meeting minutes and send them out to the project team. Identify all action items for both sides and make them easy to reference when the stakeholder reviews
- Utilize project management tools to create to-do lists with due dates and descriptive deliverables. This creates a central place for everyone on the project to stay in the loop and see what is expected of them and by which deadlines
- Drafting mass emails to send to the organization
- Reaching out to coordinate with their internal teams to accomplish information sharing
- Never flood your stakeholders inboxes with multiple emails when they can all be condensed into 1 bulleted email that is concise and to the point
- Provide your stakeholders with project updates. There are times when the project is being worked on but no visible action items are required of the team. Even so, you should provide them a weekly update and report the progress. This assures the team that expectations are being met