Welcome back to Project Practicum with Multiple Projects. In this module, we will focus on stakeholder and communications management, leadership for a multiple project environment, and emotional intelligence. So let's dive right in with our first topic, stakeholder management. By the end of this lecture on stakeholder management, you'll be able to describe some strategies and different approaches to manage stakeholders on multiple projects. We've already completed our stakeholder analysis by the stakeholder map, now we move on to create our stakeholder register. After that, we will execute our stakeholder management plan to help manage the priorities and expectations of the stakeholders. Beyond the basic information you gathered on your stakeholders in the stakeholder map, you also need to understand what information, or support, or involvement do you need from them for your project. What are they getting from your project? Also known as their inducement. Focus on answering what they get by supporting your project, or what's in it for them? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Or is there anything about them which may negatively impact your project? Lastly, you need to develop a strategy to effectively manage your stakeholders and their expectations. The stakeholder register is a document that combines your stakeholder analysis and your communication plan. It helps you strategize how to build, maintain, and execute stakeholder relationships. It is important to keep this document confidential. A stakeholder register for multiple projects is very similar to those you've created for single projects. The main layout difference is the addition of a new column to the far left called, project, seen here highlighted in yellow. In the project column, we enter the name of the project for each stakeholder. Note that some stakeholders may be associated with more than one project. This means that they may appear more than once in the register, though their stakeholder information may be different for each project. Remember, a stakeholder could be a group or a department, as well as an individual person. Notice that the rest of the stakeholder register columns remain the same in a stakeholder register for one project. Often, you have the same stakeholder impacted by different projects you are managing. This same stakeholder will often have different views, different needs, or different answers depending on the project. Thus, it is a good practice to look at each stakeholder individually by project within the multiple projects stakeholder register. Let us look at Samantha. Samantha is the project coordinator on two projects; the peer recognition project, and the company carnival project. Notice that she has no unofficial role or hidden agenda on either project. On the peer recognition project, she is, for, or support of it. We see that what Samantha will get from working on the pure recognition project is kudos for implementing something hard. Her overall strength is the fact that she is very creative and has a lot of time to allocate to the project. Her weakness or something negative about her that could impact the project is that she sometimes spends a lot of time making things perfect. She has a key relationship with Ed, our projects sponsor. Samantha reports to Ed. Now it is time to come up with a strategy for managing Samantha on the peer recognition project. One approach is to hold regular review meetings with Ed, our sponsor, and Tom, our HR representative, to review and approve project requirements or designs or other artifacts. Even those, Samantha things are not quite perfect. This will help us keep things moving, per our customers and schedule needs. That is a great strategy for managing Samantha on the peer recognition project. But would that work for her on the company carnival project? Let's see. On the company carnival project, she is against the project. We're not sure what she will get from the project. Thus we list 'not sure' in our stakeholder register. The same strength from the peer recognition project applies. So, we list that she is very creative and has lots of time available to work on the project. Notice that her weakness or something negative about her that could impact the project is that she does not feel the carnival is an appropriate use of company money. So, is that the primary reason she is against the company carnival project? Probably. We notice that the key relationship is the same. She reports to Ed. So, going back to my original question, will the strategy we applied to her for the peer recognition project work for her on the company carnival project? Unfortunately no. Given the information we have learned by completing the stakeholder register, we see that her views are different on the second project. Thus, our approach needs to be tailored to what we know. One strategy to help manage Samantha's expectations on the company carnival project is to hold a kickoff meeting with Ed, her boss, and Samantha outlining the work that needs to be done and why it's important to the company. We can also mention how her creativity will help make this a memorable event. These are just two simple things to help keep Samantha engaged throughout the project. We now know that even the same stakeholder on different projects will need to have a tailored stakeholder strategy created for them for each project. This will help mitigate the potential negative impact the stakeholder may have across the projects. Maximize the use of their strengths and benefit the projects by leveraging their relationships as appropriate. Next, we will talk about the elements of executing our stakeholder management strategy. Managing stakeholder engagement consists of three key factors. One, our communication process throughout all the projects, two, our own interpersonal skills, and three, our management skill. So let's take a step back and unpack each of these areas. We will look at our communication process for each of our projects. We need to confirm and integrate our stakeholder strategy with our communication plan. For example, we said that one way to help mitigate the risk of timelines slipping as a result of Samantha wanting to work on something until it's perfect, would be to set up regular meetings with Tom and Ed. In those meetings, they can review final drafts, and if those drafts meet their needs, they can improve them. And this example, integrating our stakeholder strategy into our communication plan means adding these meetings to the plan. Next, we need to execute our communication plan and use various communication methods, such as emails, newsletters, or project website, to help ensure that our stakeholders are kept informed. When we talk about managing stakeholders, another area that impacts our ability to manage stakeholder engagement is our interpersonal skills. One important area to focus on as a project manager of multiple projects is building trust with all of our stakeholders across the board. One way to do this is to see things from the other person's perspective and work on building real and lasting business relationships. Another interpersonal skill that impacts our ability to manage stakeholders is how we resolve conflicts. Conflicts will happen. Healthy conflicts are natural, okay, and should be welcomed. When conflict does occur, we should work to resolve that conflict through negotiation and strive to get a win-win conclusion. We should avoid taking sides and focus on being fair and consistent across each of the projects and each of the areas of concern. Part of our interpersonal skill set should include the ability to determine a stakeholders ability to influence other stakeholders. With limited time, being able to focus our attention on those influencers and leveraging them as change agents, will help in spreading the message and managing the expectations of our various stakeholders. Besides having a communication process for all of one's projects and having good interpersonal skills, the successful project manager of multiple projects also needs to have good management skills. These skills form the core foundation for managing stakeholders, including ensuring you understand and implement good project management practices across all of your projects and that you are visible in presentations, discussions, and reports. It's important to take the time to locate, identify, and connect with others who support your projects. When managing multiple projects and managing multiple stakeholder engagements, you will notice that there is no silver bullet or panacea. You will need to tailor your approach to the stakeholders and their views. Now lets take the discussion of managing stakeholder engagement one step deeper and unpack some possible approaches for different stakeholders. There are typically four different types of stakeholders: cooperative stakeholders, detached stakeholders, unrealistic stakeholders, and negative stakeholders. What has come up with some strategies for managing each of these stakeholder types? If you are working with a cooperative stakeholder, which means that the stakeholder is a great advocate of the project and you rejoice and you're happy that you have a cooperative stakeholder. Continue to foster and nurture the relationship. Continue to spend time with them and check in with them. Be honest with them. Openly acknowledge their contribution and make them a part of the decision making process to help foster and keep their partnership and trust. What do you do if you have a detached stakeholder? These are stakeholders that are too busy or do not have an opinion. They are slow to commit or provide any clear guidance to the project or to you. In cases like this, we typically want to be able to get their buy-in on the project, get their input and agreement on key areas of the project, and get their agreement and support for the project. Some ways to help achieve these goals are to think about, what is the level of engagement you desire from them? Look at how you can motivate them or show them that it would be worth their while to make a commitment. Be sure not to push your agenda. Focus on having a conversation and talking to them openly. Ask them what their concerns are and what their needs are. Let them know how they can support the project and how the project can support them. Then develop clearly defined roles and responsibilities by the RAM or a RACI. It is normal for stakeholders to have concerns. Thus, it's important for you to address those concerns. And with a bit of effort on your part, you may be able to gain their agreement and support. Another type of stakeholder is an unrealistic stakeholder. This is a person whose expectations or requests of the project can not be met. For example, they ask for a basic requirements document which normally takes one week to write, to be done in two days. So before you approach your unrealistic stakeholder and immediately say that a two day timeline is impossible, Think of what your goal is with this stakeholder. Your goal with unrealistic stakeholders is to have an open discussion where everyone is heard, mutually understood, and best decisions are reached for the project. It's important to focus on building trust and credibility. Ask them questions such as, why do you need it in two days rather than a week? Or, are there any pressing urgent items that are causing this accelerated timeline? Focus on getting to the root cause of what's driving their unrealistic request and solving those problems. Provide data and facts to support your position. Understand that you never want to argue with, force, or hurry along in an realistic stakeholder. Thus, if they get angry and hostile, come down to a lower set point. Focus on being calm and patient, listen actively, and then gather and state facts. Allow them to continue talking, and then when there is a natural pause, go back to having a dialogue. Or perhaps they do not calm down, you may want to excuse yourself and reengage later when you're not so upset. The key point when approaching unrealistic stakeholders is to reach an agreement or mutually beneficial decision, that's good for them, the team, and the entire project. The last type of stakeholder that we're going to be discussing is the negative stakeholder. This is a person or stakeholder who is constantly stating that something will not work. They are the naysayers and the individuals who feel that no matter what, it has been done before and will fail. They can also takeover a conversation and bring pessimism to the team. When addressing negative stakeholders, our goal should be to reduce the impact of their pessimism and negativity on the rest of the team in the project. We do this by supporting our ideas with facts and focusing on showing personal areas where an approach worked well. We acknowledge and recognize the potential problems that they're raising and log them in the risk register. Then we need to concentrate on the risks we can mitigate or avoid. When discussion seems to be going around in circles, focus on isolating the source of their concern and addressing it, or setting up a subgroup to problem solve around it. The goal is to come up with a collective win-win solution for the team and the project. It's very important when working with negative stakeholders to never allow yourself to be negative as well. As the project manager, you should be really in favor of the project. Yes, you go in with your eyes wide open, but you need to be supportive of the team and any logical appropriate approaches they recommend. Let the facts and data rather than emotions be your guide. One last item to keep in mind, is that some stakeholders may have hidden agendas or possibly a hidden escalation plan. So, you should tread carefully and really focus on the facts and come to a point of agreement or understanding.