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MSP Overview of Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement Tutorial

1 Overview of Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement

Hello and welcome to lesson 7 of the Managing Successful Programmes Certification course offered by Simplilearn. In this lesson, we will focus on the third governance theme that is leadership and stakeholder engagement theme. This lesson will cover this theme in detail and help to understand the importance of strong leadership during the course of a programme. Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: ? Describe leadership and stakeholder engagement ? Identify the differences between leadership and management ? Explain business change management Let us move on to the next screen to discuss the MSP® framework.

3 MSPFramework

In MSP® framework, leadership and stakeholder engagement is placed in the second ring. The leadership and stakeholder engagement governance theme specifically allows the organisation to put in place the right leadership and stakeholder engagement methodologies. The strategies and plans made in accordance with this theme are paramount for success of the programme. In the next screen, we will focus on leading change.

4 Leading Change Actively Manage Stakeholders

Stakeholders are groups, organisations or individuals who can affect, get affected, or perceive themselves to be affected by a programme. Resources can also be identified as stakeholders if they have unique skills and competencies. One of the key aspects of the ‘leading change’ programme management principle is that it actively engages stakeholders in following ways. Leaders utilise a vision statement to influence stakeholders so that they commit to a beneficial future. It is their responsibility to ensure that stakeholders are aware of the benefits that the programme can bring to them. Business change managers or BCMs (read as B-C-Ms) engage the operational stakeholders leading them through transition. For a transition to be smooth, it is imperative that all stakeholders are involved in it with full conviction. A half-hearted effort can lead to disastrous consequences on the programme. Another advantage of engaging stakeholders is that it may lead to identification of new benefits. A benefit is recognised as a “benefit”, only if it is advantageous to one or more stakeholders. Leaders should engage stakeholders so that benefits are identified, communicated, interpreted, owned and realised. In the next screen, we will discuss the various kinds of stakeholder responses.

5 Kinds of Stakeholder Responses

Following are the different kinds of stakeholder responses to a programme. Some stakeholders may support or oppose the programme depending on how they perceive the effect of results on them. Some stakeholders may gain and others may lose from the programme when benefits realisation starts. Some stakeholders might see the programme only as a threat even if the evidence suggests otherwise. While some stakeholders may be completely indifferent to a programme in the beginning, they may change their stance depending on how they are managed. Some stakeholders may become supportive or block the programme depending on how and to what level they are engaged. In stakeholder engagement, it is important to gain the support of most stakeholders or at least ensure that majority of stakeholders are indifferent. This is to minimise the damage to the programme. In the next screen, we will learn how leadership can influence stakeholder engagement.

6 Role of Leadership in Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a way of achieving influence and positive outcomes through effective relationship management. Following are the ways in which leadership helps in stakeholder engagement. Leaders consider people to be more than just resources. They give consideration to matters of internal politics, individual emotions and motivations while engaging stakeholders. Leaders should understand the challenges of transition for each individual group. Some groups may not be comfortable using the new ways of working while others may not like the new office, as it might be far from their home. In these cases, leaders have to lead by example and adapt to the change before asking others to do the same. To influence key stakeholders visioning workshops should be conducted. It is aimed at drafting the programme’s vision statement, and presents an opportunity to engage the right stakeholders including clients and suppliers at an early stage. Do-nothing vision is a useful method to show potential blockers the possible negative impact of their actions and convert them to supporters. This vision is also explored during the visioning workshops and helps foster the belief that change is needed. In the next screen, we will discuss the differences between leadership and management.

7 Leadership vs. Management

Leadership is required in the context of change to guide the organisation. It clarifies the present and the future, and thrives on the tension between the two. On the other hand, management is always required, particularly in business as usual contexts. The focus of management is more on continual improvement. Leadership is inclined to clarify what and why. It will help to ensure that people are clear about what changes are needed and why they are needed. Whereas, management focuses on how and when the steps should be taken to deliver output at the right time. Leadership is most effective when the leaders communicate face-to-face. They should have ability to influence people; this is one of the reasons why leaders are normally involved in stakeholder engagement. Management is most effective when the people involved control tasks against a specified plan and ensure that there is no delay. Leadership is concerned with direction, purpose and effectiveness. This means that leaders will be guides to ensure that planned changes are being executed smoothly in the right direction. On the other hand, it is up to the management team to ensure the speed, quality and efficiency of the steps taken. Leadership is focused on meaning, purpose and realised value, while management is focused on task, delivery and process. It is quite evident that leadership takes the holistic view, while management’s focus is on ensuring that plans are effectively managed. We will move on to the next screen, to discuss the business change management.

8 Business Change Management

Business change management considers how change happens and how people can be led through change. Following are some facts about the nature of change in an organisation: The change is considered in a broader sense, that is, within individuals, teams and an organisation. At a macro level, programme is a part of strategic change initiative. At a micro level, each individual is affected by the programme and experiences their cycle of change. Change is everywhere and iterative. Business change management and ensuring an organisation’s commitment to change are the two dominant programme concerns and the focus of action for the management team. The Business Change Manager or BCM (read as B-C-M) must be effective in leading an operational team through a transition cycle that embeds new working practices. In the next screen, we will understand how and why communications with projects and other programmes are an important part of stakeholder engagement.

9 Communications with Projects and Other Programmes

All the projects within a programme need to communicate with its stakeholders. However, the programme needs to ensure that all the communications are timely, accurate, consistent and aimed at the right group of stakeholders. Following are a few points to remember while communicating with the projects and other programmes. The general guidelines of communicating with stakeholders should be present within the stakeholder engagement strategy. This strategy should be communicated to the project teams by the Programme Office. Also, all planned routine communications by projects should be reviewed by the Programme Office to ensure that these are complete and correct. Certain identified stakeholders should always be referred to the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO (read as S-R-O) or the Programme Manager. These stakeholders will be the ones who are very important for the success of the programme and they should be engaged by the leadership directly. Similarly, if there are any “sensitive” topics like those related to industrial relations, then they must always be referred to the SRO or the Programme Manager. Communications should provide regular briefs to projects, so that the stakeholders are aware of the progress made by the programme. It will also help them prepare, in case there are any dependencies on other projects. It needs to be emphasised that the project communication plan should be aligned with the programme communications plan. However, at the same time, projects should be allowed to manage their local communications whenever it is reasonable. Too much control on communications will disempower projects and may give rise to discontent within projects.

10 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: Leadership and stakeholder engagement allows the organisation to put in place the right leadership and stakeholder engagement methodologies. Stakeholder engagement is a way of achieving influence and positive outcomes through effective relationship management. Leadership is particularly required in a context of change. It clarifies the present and the future, whereas, management is always required, particularly in business-as-usual contexts. It focuses more on continual improvement. Business change management considers how change happens and how people can be led through the change. Next, we will focus on the stakeholder engagement process.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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