Employee Engagement Monday Morning Percolator #46
How engaged are the various stakeholders on your project?
As more of our work is now packaged in projects I believe it will become more important to assess, foster, and develop project engagement.
A helpful lens to view project management is through project engagement. One reason I like the term project engagement is that it seems more encompassing than employee engagement. It includes all the various people involved in the project yet it is also more focused because it is limited to a specific project.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) created a detailed outline of the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK that outlines in over 400 pages the various inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs of projects from initiating to closing. The knowledge areas include: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communications, risk, and procurement management.
PMBOK is an excellent rationale guide to project management but what do you do to ensure full engagement when people have so many different agendas and so many tasks on their overflowing work plates?
Here is a working definition of project engagement:
Project engagement refers to each stakeholder’s investment of energy, skill, ability, effort, and eagerness in a defined project. This includes involvement and commitment yet goes beyond to include various actions such as:
- Attends to task details
- Builds strong connections and relationships
- Balances support and challenge with inquiry and advocacy
- Speaks highly about the project to others
- Commits to project completion
- Involves self in special sub-projects
- Communicates willingly and effectively with others
- Demonstrates personal/professional development
- Initiates problem-solving and/or conflict resolution
- Innovates effective processes and procedures
Stakeholders are anyone who has an interest in the project ranging from project leader, team members, upper management, customers, resource manager, etc. Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be affected as a result of project execution or project completion. They may also exert influence over the project’s objectives and outcomes. The project management team must identify the stakeholders, determine their requirements and expectations, and, to the extent possible, manage their influence in relation to the requirements to ensure a successful project.
I believe this is where active project engagement can play an assessment and ongoing role in contributing to the success of the project.
Here are some initial questions involving project engagement:
- If you are a project manager how much attention do you pay to project engagement?
- How do you engage yourself in projects?
- How do you assess engagement levels of the various stakeholders?
- What tools and techniques can you use to foster fuller levels of engagement?
- How do you customize your project engagement efforts for various stakeholders?
- How do you keep your team engaged in the project?
- What factors may create project disengagement?
- How do you address project disengagement?
In the future I will be offering more detailed approaches, strategies, tips, and tactics about project engagement and offer concrete tools for project managers to assess, build, foster, and enhance project engagement to acheive results while also building relationships.
Photo Credit: Project Management Plan by http://flickr.com/photos/perhapstoopink/467087455/
David Zinger is a workplace engagement expert.