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  • Nila Vaishnav

Stakeholder Relationship – It’s a game, play it right!!!

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

"In my past 15 years of career as a Technology Project Manager, Stakeholder management has ranked high in the challenges it brings. Stakeholders are those that are impacted by your action. If managed right, they will make your day but if not, it will be just the opposite, ruin your day! As I have been on both sides of this equation, want to share a story.

In the mid 90’s when PCs were just becoming popular, I was assigned a job to train about 100 staff members on using PCs. This was prompted as part of the company’s system automation project.

I was ready, the PCs were ready but were the people whom I was training ready? ” Let me find out”, I said to myself. When I walked to their stations, I was shocked with what I witnessed. Every PC was set up with the same screen saver which was a guy with a hammer in his hand pointing to the computer screen, basically breaking it. .

This was their way of communicating to me that they hate computers. This was a setback and definitely didn’t make my day. These were my stakeholders and I definitely needed to rethink my plan to better manage them so that my training will be a success. During that week, I planned mini sessions to hear them out and understand them better. At the same time, show them the positive sides of the PCs and the features that they can easily relate to. This helped take away the negativity to make the learning a more natural process. The end result was a successful completion of the training with all.

The moral of the story is that a successful completion of this deliverable for me was heavily dependent on the support from my stakeholders hence both sides needed to be on the same page. This applies to majority of our work as PMs and the more we remind ourselves that this is not about us, the more success we will achieve in creating that healthy relationship with our stakeholders."

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