Stakeholders Hold the Key to the Kingdom

When you’re involved with a healthcare project, the stakeholders hold the keys to the kingdom.

You cannot successfully complete a patient-centric project unless all of the stakeholders interests are involved (this includes the physicians, nurses, security, and so on). Here are 3 ways you can start to unlock stakeholder potential and encourage engagement:


1. Engage Your Stakeholders


Half of the top-performing Capital Project Organizations report being highly or very highly effective in their ability to get stakeholders involved with their projects (SmartMarket Brief: Optimizing the Owner Organization; Dodge Data & Analytics). However, this still leaves room for a 50% improvement in stakeholder engagement.

As a project leader, you need to do some investigation. Your first priority is to determine the information you need to build a patient centric environment. Then, you’ll need to identify which stakeholders have the wisdom and experience that will enhance your ability to build this environment. Once you find out their names, search for them on LinkedIn and use the information on their profile to help you answer out 3 key questions:

  1. Where did they go to school?
  2. What organizations are they part of?
  3. What are their hobbies/interests?

Now, you’re able start a more meaningful conversation with them via email or phone. During your first conversation, aim to motivate and inspire them to be a part of your team, paint the big picture of the healthcare project for them, and discuss time constraints.


2. Accommodate Your Stakeholders


When I worked with IT/telecom stakeholders as a project manager, we held “Drive By Meetings” which gave select stakeholders the ability to tell us when they needed to leave meetings, provide and receive necessary information, and be officially thrown out of the meeting when their time was up.

Obviously not everyone can be treated this way, but we made it clear that it was essential to be flexible in order to get to the end result.


3. Connect With Your Stakeholders


Developing better ideas by collaborating with your stakeholders doesn’t happen magically – there are techniques that are proven to help foster connection. Here are three techniques I recommend:

  1. Storytelling
    The secret to making a real connection while simultaneously delivering relevant content is storytelling. Stories bring out emotions and feelings which are relevant and relatable. Identifying the points of the story and applying those points to the design gives us the ability to develop new ideas for the future.
  2. Role Playing
    Role playing helps you to walk in someone shoes to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, their priorities, and of how they see the world.
  3. Tools For Comprehension
    Distraction is an epidemic, which visuals help to combat. Visuals projected onto projector screens, detailed and drawn on whiteboards, or available to view on smart devices reinforce the verbal information shared during meetings.

These techniques enable a crucial component in building a patient-centric environment – stronger emotional connection with everyone involved, especially key stakeholders. Achieving this connection allows you to more easily involve the key stakeholders you have identified and, in turn, build the optimal patient-centric environment.


Ask Yourself:

Aside from using social media, what other ways can you facilitate a meaningful conversation with key stakeholders?