External Stakeholder Management

We understand that every company has external stakeholders, such as investors, bankers, lawyers, auditors.

 

While jointly your stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of your business, they also have their own priorities and requirements, which need to be understood, managed and met.

Our Digital CFOs have a wealth of experience in dealing with external stakeholders and can act as an impartial conduit between them and your organisation. 

How our Digital CFO's can help you with stakeholder management.

The first step in any stakeholder management plan is to conduct a stakeholder analysis.

 

This process helps you and us understand who your stakeholders are, their levels of participation, any potential conflicts, and motivations.

 

The stakeholder analysis our Digital CFOs undertake will provide an overview of everyone’s influence and involvement in the project, as well as what is needed for success. 

We have tried and tested approach to stakeholder analysis, that consists of the following three core steps.

 

1. Identify your key stakeholders

While everyone might want a say in the project, your key stakeholders are the people who will have final veto power when it comes to major decisions.

 

To make sure you don’t end up with too many cooks in the kitchen — making stakeholder management a bigger challenge — it’s important to identify them as soon as possible. 

Our Digital CFOs will work with you to produce a list of anyone who might be affected by the project.

 

Stakeholders can be both internal and external, and range from the business CEO to clients. 

2. Prioritise and organise stakeholders

Once our Digital CFOs have a general understanding of who your stakeholders are, they will work with you to consider what level of power each person or group has when it comes to the actual project.

 

While your customer might be affected by the final product, they may not have the power to block or advance any of the work and tasks involved in its completion. 

To determine the impact of each stakeholder, our Digital CFOs will work with you to understand how the outcome of the project will influence each listed individual, and how much support you will need from each stakeholder. 

One way to clearly prioritise stakeholders is through stakeholder mapping, and is something our Digital CFOs can support you with.  This is especially helpful if you’re a visual person and benefit from seeing everything laid out in front of you. 

A stakeholder map is a standard matrix that outlines the four categories a stakeholder will fall into: 

High power, highly interested (manage closely, must be fully engaged)  

High power, less interested (keep satisfied with strategic communication) 

Low power, highly interested (keep regularly informed to ensure no major issues come up) 

Low power, less interested (monitor but do not require excessive detail or communication)

3. Understand key stakeholders 

After our Digital CFOs have identified the stakeholders who will play the biggest part in the project, they will take the time to understand their needs, characteristics, and interests.

 

This information will be invaluable once it’s time to work with them directly and manage expectations. At this stage in the stakeholder analysis, our Digital CFOs will also clearly define roles and levels of participation amongst the stakeholders. If there are any potential conflicts of interest, these will be addressed here too. 

Some questions our Digital CFOs might ask, as you work together to understand the key stakeholders: 

What are the main priorities? And the main KPIs? 

What is the best way to communicate with this stakeholder? (ie. email, face-to-face, a dedicated project management tool, etc.) 

How much information do they need? 

How do they respond to constructive criticism or conflict? 

What are they responsible for? 

What is their management style? 

Who influences their opinions, and who might be influenced by their opinions? 

Our Digital CFOs might set up short, one-on-one meetings with the key stakeholder to find out the answers to these questions, as this can save you endless time in the long run — plus help build and improve your relationship with the individual stakeholders.