Tag Archives: PMI

Stakeholder Partnerships: from conflict to collaboration

Dealing with stakeholders, especially difficult ones, can be among a project manager’s more frustrating responsibilities. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) 2013 PMBOK, a project stakeholder is “an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project.”

Most project managers depend on the old model of “managing stakeholders,” which entails keeping project stakeholders informed, updated, and monitored to ensure steady, efficient progress. As you can imagine, communication is key. So is consistent engagement:

Stakeholder management needs to focus more on engagement in order to move projects from installation to implementation. …Projects should start with the premise that identifying a range of stakeholders and engaging with them in a consistent and organized manner will improve project success. (Engaging Stakeholders for Project Success, pmi.org 2015)

In her insightful article How to Train Your Sponsor, Laura Barnard, PMP (PMOstrategies.com) indicates that “the number one factor in determining success or failure of your change initiative is…sponsor engagement.” Barnard goes beyond communication and trust to provide several ways that sponsors—who can be considered stakeholders themselves—can be motivated and engaged to become an effective part of project management.

But what about the difficult stakeholders?

Effective project management requires learning how to move beyond the traditional approach of “managing stakeholders” to a more modern approach: making stakeholders your partners. Partnership creates a sense of ownership that allows intuitive buy-in from all stakeholders on the project. Successful partnerships also mitigate risk.

There is a strong correlation between stakeholder management and risk management. Without the buy-in and full commitment from stakeholders, projects, regardless of their success factors, are at high risk for failure.  (7 tips to transform difficult stakeholders into project partners, by Moira Alexander, via CIO.com)


The Educational Alliance of NOVA Workforce Development Division and PMIWDC are presenting a Project Management Training Seminar for project managers and PMPs to discover a new approach of making stakeholders your partners.

Course Objectives:
  • Examine recommendations in the PMBOK Guide for providing foundational structures and processes that can save you and your organization time and money.
  • Introduce negotiating and conflict management techniques that have proven track records.
  • Provide tips for dealing with difficult stakeholders and situations.
You will have opportunities to learn from the experiences of all your classmates in exercises based on real-life situations, and you will develop a customized plan that will allow you to implement this new approach in your own organization.

This workshop is presented by Ron Taylor, an internationally-known leader, lecturer, author, and consultant, as well as the principal and founder of the Ron Taylor Group. He is a past President of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMIWDC.org), the largest PMI Chapter in the world with over 10,000 members.

Stakeholder Partnership:
Moving from Problematic to Collaborative

New! Half Day Saturday
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
4 PDUs; $220.00 per person
NOVA Reston Center
1831 Wiehle Avenue, Room 309
Reston, VA 20190
Metro Accessible: Wiehle-Reston East (Silver Line)
Refreshments provided!

For more information on this workshop,
call 703-450-2551 or email Veronica Ortiz at vortiz@nvcc.edu.
Ready to register? Visit MyWorkforce online to register for this course!

5 Secrets to Resilience

Resilience is the ability to adapt to and overcome adversity. Individuals and communities are able to rebuild after devastating tragedies. Violence and environmental disasters in recent years have touched all of us in some way. Whether directly or indirectly, we have all felt loss. In our daily lives we feel stress, and we learn to cope with changes. We have all learned lessons from mistakes in both our private and professional lives.

Some, however, appear to be more resilient than others.  How do people seem to “roll with the punches” in the face of chaos? How does a coworker bounce back after a poor review?

5 Secrets to Resilience

“Resilience is the ability to adapt well in response to stressful events. In our lives we may experience tragedy, adversity, or real or perceived sources of stress. These events can occur in our family or significant relationships, workplace, health, or financial situations.” [©2014 Amplified Life Media. Reprint, “Bouncing Back,” liveandworkwell.com]

You can probably guess that resilience is essential for anyone who works with people. Whether you are a leader or an entry-level worker, your ability to be resilient will affect how you perform your job. Whether you are a corporate trainer or a cybersecurity expert, you must remain focused on goals regardless of sudden changes and surprises.

Resilience is an essential skill.

Why do some people struggle and fail, while others succeed and thrive? It’s not necessarily upbringing, education, or experience. In order to help people cope with adversity and thrive with uncertainty and change, resilience is an essential skill. The good news is that all of us can learn to be more resilient!

5 Secrets to Resilience - Edison quote

In June, Doug Hensch, Executive Coach and president of DRH Group,  presented a mini-workshop at PMI Washington DC’s Loudoun Community Lunch and Learn, entitled 5 Secrets to Resilience. Tailored for anyone interested in finding new ways to improve their own levels of resilience, the workshop teaches skills to effectively fight stress and anxiety. This workshop is popular with most who have attended, including an Agile Program Director who enjoyed Doug’s teaching style:

“… the entire class is engaged, it includes great videos with a great sense of humor. Anyone can teach a bunch of principles to a group and see what sticks, only a few individuals like Doug can show us how to apply these principles in our everyday lives.” (Linkedin recommendation, September 17, 2015)

Leaders who want to be more interactive and bring out the best in their team will benefit from Doug’s class as well. Many of us will easily recognize the natural-born leaders among us; they are the ones who can bounce back from defeat and inspire others. They are also the ones who are naturally able to cope with risk and change. They are resilient.

PMI Seminars at NOVA


Through NOVA’s education alliance with the PMI Washington DC Chapter, the Workforce Development Division offers customized seminars on a variety of topics of interest to PMI members. NOVA is a category B provider. Seminars are being held through December in Reston, Woodbridge, and Arlington.

The first seminar being offered is 5 Secrets to Resilience, Doug Hensch’s day-long workshop. This workshop is focused on helping employees, managers, and leaders improve their ability to cope with adversity, uncertainty, and change. The content of the course is backed by over 30 years of research and delivered in an engaging, entertaining format that gives participants the tools they need to thrive in difficult times.

5 Secrets to Resilience

Additional PMI courses are available, and registration is open now:

October 24, NOVA Woodbridge
Successful Federal Contracts Administration
[register online now]

December 11, Arlington Center
Breakthrough Project Portfolio Performance
[register online now]

Doug Hensch is an executive coach, group facilitator and consultant with over 20 years of experience. He brings a wealth of experience and passion to the work through a simple philosophy: Set meaningful goals. Identify your strengths. Work in them regularly.

For more information on PMI Washington DC events, visit their website and make sure to check out the monthly PMIWDC Loudoun Community Lunch and Learn opportunities. The October 12 lunch will discuss Difficult Conversations for Project Managers, with Professional & Personal Development Coach Francis Roman, REI Systems Inc.