Stakeholder Engagement Series part 6 - Engaging External Stakeholders



In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with John Wyzalek about engaging external stakeholders.

John is a senior acquisition editor at Taylor & Francis in the book publishing industry, working with authors and managing their book projects.

John considers the authors he works with to be strategic stakeholders. By engaging them this way, he has been able to build a portfolio of textbooks, scholarly reference works, exam prep books, and professional books in project management, IT and software engineering, as well as meet the authors’ personal book goals.

John is currently working on a doctoral thesis on the role of stakeholder engagement in project portfolio management at the SKEMA School of Business.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • External stakeholders can include customers, clients, suppliers and contractors among others.
  • Engaging external stakeholders is an important part of any project, program or portfolio.
  • Finding out the needs and expectations of external stakeholders is vital.
  • Engaging external stakeholders is about building and developing a relationship.
  • It is important not to go into engagement with external stakeholders with too many pre-conceived ideas.
  • It is important to be wary of assumptions. External stakeholders will not necessarily have made the same assumptions as their project managers.
  • Communication is crucial. Stakeholders will not be engaged by poorly explained or presented ideas.
  • It is important to understand the drivers and motivations of both external and internal stakeholders.
  • Sometimes simply doing the best job possible and getting the project done in the way the external stakeholder requires should be the goal. Compromise will often preserve a difficult relationship, even if it is at the expense of quality.