Engagement in Your Project to Facilitate Success

May 09, 2019

Projects benefit from engagement and interest. That seems like a simple concept, but, maintaining interest and changing attitudes can require skill.

Not everyone on your project will have high levels of interest and influence. Believe it or not, that could be a good thing. If you are a people pleaser, that probably makes you uneasy. In fact, too many individuals with high levels of interest and influence are equivalent to too many cooks in the kitchen. I am not saying it can not be orchestrated. It is just not the norm.

Where to do you start? Identify and document who has interest and influence in your business endeavor, their level of interest and where their interest should be. Individuals or groups who could be impacted by a proposed project, program, or solution are called stakeholders. These individuals or groups may include sponsors, managers, executives, product users, product testers, team members or any group or individual impacted by the project when in progress or completed.

Stakeholders can be an extremely large group- hundreds, thousands or even more. So, where do you focus your time and energy?

Most of your time and energy will be focused on ones with high interest and influence or ones that need to be in those categories.

No two stakeholders are alike. Therefore, soft skills are most important and rank above and beyond research when attempting to keep stakeholders engaged. According to Wikipedia, soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.

Soft skills for some seem to be innate. If you do not fall in this category, seek an expert, coach or networking group to develop soft skills.

Prior to implementing your soft skills, review your organization’s structure, administrative policies and procedures to ensure your tools and techniques align with your company.

As previously stated, each stakeholder is different. Good leaders develop a keen eye for assessing what motivates all parties and communicate their perception of excellent performance. Open dialogue regarding communication preferences is not always practical. Consider the options listed below to maintain or increase interest in your project.

Push method:  Communication that is delivered by the sender to the recipient(s).

Push communication is used when recipient(s) need information, do not require an immediate response and is non-urgent or sensitive in nature.  For example,

  • Email
  • Phone Calls, Video Calls, Voicemail
  • Postal Mail
  • Meetings
  • Hosted Events
  • Newsletter

Pull method:  Communication that is proactively retrieved by the recipient.

Pull communication should be used when the communication is informational only. If the recipients does not read it, it will not affect the project. For example,

  • Website or Portal
  • Dashboards
  • Knowledge Repository
  • Bulletin board
  • Hotline
  • Project Blog
  • Discussion Board

Remember while the communication may be confirmed that it was sent and received, it does not necessarily mean it was understood.

Consider contacting Sustained Quality Group to assist in your next manufacturing project. We take into consideration the specific needs of every project and stakeholder.