By their nature, multi-stakeholder projects can be difficult to manage. Each stakeholder comes with their own requirements and expectations increasing the complexity at every stage, right from agreeing the scope through to delivering the end product.
With some eLearning projects, there are more stakeholders than members of the design and development team. These can include the project sponsor, lead project manager and a project manager from all organisations involved. Each organisation will have their own group of internal stakeholders, including senior managers, line managers, subject matter experts, L&D, IT, suppliers and the learners themselves. In certain cases, members of their extended enterprise, including external agencies may be involved
eCom has been involved with many large-scale eLearning projects, and these are our thoughts on multi-stakeholder project success.
Do your research
Spend time getting to know the stakeholders, their roles within the organisation they represent and their priorities. It is key to understand their pressing concerns, the experience they already have, what they need to know, what is negotiable for them as well as what is not, and any aspects of the project that may bring tension to the team.
Getting everyone into the same mental space is very important and training workshops can be used to develop the business outcomes. Depending on the nature of the project, several workshops may be required to set expectations and gain agreement. This is well worth the effort to ensure that project documentation can be signed and that the project runs smoothly.
Manage the Project
Once the project begins, the lead project manager plays a key role. As well as keeping the project on track, they help keep the lines of communication open. Stakeholders may come from different backgrounds or disciplines, and their thoughts may evolve as the project progresses, so ongoing communication is essential to retain focus on what was originally agreed.
At each meeting or communication event, it’s worth spending a short time recapping on requirements.
Aim to reach an early agreement on how and when project communications will happen. This will help the stakeholders feel comfortable and assist them in updating their respective organisations. Communication with stakeholders should be clear and concise. Using supporting visuals such as diagrams or flowcharts, increases understanding of final outcomes, which in turn helps avoid project scope issues. Immediately after all stakeholder meetings, circulating actions/minutes will help everyone remember exactly what was agreed.
How eCom Helps
Great communication and a proactive approach are key to ensuring success with multi-stakeholder projects. At eCom we have a proven track record of managing wide-ranging learning projects such as NHS Education for Scotland’s Quality Improvement and One Out of Four projects. We provide assistance with project governance and management of stakeholders, helping you to pull the threads of a complex project together.
Get in Touch
To find out how your organisation would benefit from our experience of managing multi-stakeholder projects, please call us on 01383 630032 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org