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Successful HEU Project Management (Part 2) – The importance of Cross Stakeholder Involvement

August 30 2018

This is the second article in our project management series, where we go more in-depth with the 4 key elements we have identified for successful Horizon Europe consortium management; involved partners, cross stakeholder involvement, lasting partnerships and lasting impact. In this article, we will focus on the importance of cross stakeholder involvement.    

You can find our first article about the added value of involved partners here.

In this article we would like to share our insights on the second quadrant: Cross Stakeholder Involvement. This is one of the key elements we find crucial for successful delivery of your research project. With cross stakeholder involvement we aim at full co-creation of the project within and beyond the project team.

Your project success is highly dependent on the adoption of your results by for example; regulators, patients, medical staff or scientist, therefore, it is important to have them included and involved in the project from the beginning.

Watch our video on the importance of cross stakeholder involvement:

Our project managers Karin and Femke gives you an overview of the importance of cross stakeholder involvement.

Why is cross stakeholder involvement important for your Horizon Europe project?

Let us illustrate this with an example: recently we visited the anniversary congress of the IMI, which have existed for 10 years. Here, a patient representative told her personal story, which was truly inspirational and gave the audience insights into the patient’s perspectives. Her take home message was: “Nothing about us, without us”

By understanding the root cause of stakeholder behaviour, you are able to assess better ways of working together for a productive relationship and project outcome. Some people refer to stakeholder involvement as stakeholder management. This implies that the external stakeholders can be managed, while in fact there is no formal authority and the results rely on engagement and involvement with the project. Cross stakeholder involvement consists of both engagement (establishing relationships) and management (managing the processes).

3 important steps to successful projects:

1. Reciprocal communication

This two-way engagement is the basic layer for stakeholder involvement and entails communication to and from the consortium to external stakeholders. Your stakeholders should not be passive receivers of information, but instead be actively included in discussions. The two-way communication will help you to understand concerns and motives of your stakeholders and through this establish common goals.

2. Smart(er) consensus building

This step is to establish the most acceptable baseline across a set of stakeholders' diverging expectations and priorities. By working to build consensus, the consortium empowers the stakeholders to express disagreements and collaborate on solutions. One of the many ways for soliciting input and ideas in more active way to participate in focus groups, community convenings and other events.

3. Co-creation/co-design

Co-creation or co-design means taking steps to ensure that the project is guided by the voices and perspectives of the all external stakeholders.

By involving all of your stakeholders, you will  be able to render true impact with your research project. This is one of the things we support you with at ttopstart.

Interested in hearing more about our project management services?

Fill in the form below to get in touch with us and discover the ways we can support your project to succeed. Follow us on LinkedIn to see our next project management video about creating lasting partnerships.

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Femke van Diggelen, PhD
+31 (0)30 73 70 779