Sponsorship and Stakeholder Management
Tommy Van de Wouwer believes that having the right sponsor for your project makes all the difference. Having a strong sponsor at board or executive board level will make sure the sponsor has the needed attention and will make things move. Once you have this sponsor the challenge is to keep him committed, this is part of stakeholder management.
Most of the time stakeholder management is done by creating a grid of the stakeholders based on their power on one axis and their interest on the other axis. Apart from that it’s important to know if the stakeholder is supporting the project (promotor), neutral or against the project (detractor).
The following strategy is generally advised:
· Low power, low interest: the least important ones, inform via general channels like newsletters
· Low power, high interest: show consideration, they can be goodwill ambassadors, involve in low risk areas
· High power, low interest: meet their needs, engage and try to increase their interest level
· High power, high interest: key players, personal attention needed.
Detractors with high power are a real risk for your project, this has to be managed well. Promotors with low power on the other hand provide changes, they may be able to help promote the project, be change ambassadors or can have some influence via indirect power.
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