Five key principles to adhere to in stakeholder engagement

I work under a mantra that there are five vital principles for procurement professionals wanting positive stakeholder engagement.

1) Identification of stakeholders
It is critical that in procurement, individuals can identify who the key stakeholders are within the business. By getting to know them, you can get a clear understanding of what they want, care for and influence across the organisation.

2) Active and early engagement
Essentially, the earlier you can engage with the relevant stakeholders the better the outcome. As part of a strategic procurement plan, you naturally gain their participation in negotiations. Senior board members will have a higher level of influence than someone at the junior end. So by getting the more experienced individual on board at an early stage, you can utilise their ideas quicker and with more efficiency. In the procurement environment, this is particularly true in driving change management and transformation.

3) Listening to stakeholders
I believe it’s critical that procurement teams listen to their stakeholders in order to manage their expectations. From a procurement perspective, acknowledging and then being able to act on stakeholder input is key to driving success. If the project is on brief, then there is every chance that the client or customer will be pleased with the result.

4) Communication
For many years, I’ve worked with the thought that communication with stakeholders needs to be concise and clear. Having a positive working relationship with stakeholder‘s means the output will be of higher value and their interest in the project more significant.
When there are changes in a project, stakeholders must feel like they’re a part of the decision making process and are adding value.

5) Creating value and ensuring success
A procurement function that educates and works with stakeholders is able to create value for both parties, and best practice is a natural way to this type of success.

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