The vast majority of projects we deliver for our clients involve multiple stakeholders. From internal marketing and management teams to external suppliers and agencies, there are often many different people trying to make their voices heard on a project.
Striking the right balance between fulfilling stakeholders’ expectations and getting the project delivered on time and within budget is no mean feat. We’ve outlined our approach below, along with some helpful guidance on what you can do to make the process easier for your marketing agency.
During the initial phase of a project, it’s a good idea to hold a workshop or kick-off meeting to get as many of your stakeholders together as you can in one place. Our approach at Eleven is to come to these meetings armed with a set of questions for our stakeholders, allowing us to really delve into their motivations, priorities and concerns. The outcome of the session should be such that everyone feels heard and acknowledged, and knows what part they have to play in the overall project.
Keeping on top of actions and deadlines in a project involving multiple stakeholders can be tricky, so it’s important to use project planning software to manage everything in one central place. This will help prioritise outcomes and ensure that everyone knows precisely what is expected of them and when, throughout the course of the project. At Eleven, we use SmartSheet– a dynamic workspace which allows teams to manage complex projects.
There may be multiple parties that need to review the various components of your project from different points of view. For example, the technical team may need to review the content for technical accessibility, the marketing team will need to review it for copy and tone, and the commissioning team will need to review the content itself. It’s important to gather all these different viewpoints and consolidate the feedback to ensure all stakeholders needs are being considered. Once this feedback has been consolidated, it can be shared with your agency in a way that is both clear and concise.
We often create materials for our clients that are reviewed by many different teams and individuals. This reason, we ask our clients to assign one person to check and consolidate all feedback before they share it with us. This helps to avoid receiving feedback which is unclear or contains contradictions.
It’s also vital to agree on a sign-off process when it comes to progressing your project towards completion. For example, does one person have final say? Or do you require that written confirmation be supplied to your agency before they can move onto the next stage?
We tend to iron this out at the very start of a project we’re working on, ensuring that our client has a clear idea of who will be responsible for coordinating the sign-off process and keeping things moving.
Managing multiple stakeholders in a project requires holding regular updates to report on how things are going. These sessions will keep track of the project’s overall timeline and progress, along with any notes from calls or meetings that have happened along the way. We find that keeping our stakeholders abreast of our progress makes them feel more connected with the project and therefore more engaged with us.
Armed with this guidance, you can ensure that your project will run smoothly and that all stakeholders’ expectations are being met.
Do you have a creative project with many moving parts and multiple stakeholders that you’d like to discuss with us? We pride ourselves on managing projects seamlessly and making the complex simple. Get in touch to find out more.