More about Teresa
In my experience, the environment/culture has not been established that welcomes stakeholders – OR their input! They have had negative experiences with being overlooked, drowned out or witness to ineffective processes. Stakeholders often feel projects are done TO them rather than WITH them.
The best way to increase stakeholder engagement that results in information sharing is through a skilled facilitator that utilizes tools seamlessly to draw in, level set, solicit input and prioritize the input in such a way that everyone has had full opportunities to participate. To learn more, please view my webinar hosted by PMI at the 2018 PMXPO titled Creative Thinking - Engaging Your Stakeholders that has been viewed over 17K times since being posted. Teresa Lawrence, PhD, PMP, CSM- the SME integrating Creative Problem Solving into Project Management.
More about Reshma
The internet has made knowledge/information sharing so much more prominent worldwide than ever before, but there are still challenges at a few workplaces at all levels with information access continuing to be a privilege. Stakeholders often resist sharing information because they are afraid of losing a competitive advantage, they feel they have power and a special control with the information they retain within themselves. These stakeholders also lack trust and feel that they will not be appreciated or given the perceived level of importance by revealing information, hence pretend not to have the information being requested. Stakeholders who haven’t built professional relationships with team members are not willing to share information as they don’t see mutual benefit. Some stakeholders enjoy being in the limelight when reached out to for information as they think that is the value they bring to the table with information being siloed. I have also seen resistance when stakeholders are uncomfortable to state they are unaware, and have no clue when questioned on the details of why the are doing what they are doing:)
Knowledge sharing should be a consistent conscious effort as part of an organization’s culture, besides focus on technology which alone isn’t enough to create that culture. Promoting a transparent collaborative environment that measures performance and incentivizes employees for team accomplishments and not individual goals is key for team members to build trust, synergy, complement each other’s roles & responsibilities, greater creativity, make informed decisions, and contribute value to the bigger picture.
More about Sanjay
Lots of information shared in a project by stakeholders, but sometimes, some stakeholders don’t. I think it’s mainly because of lack of communication and knowledge about processes, they don’t know “how, when and what to share with whom”. The another reasons might be scare to share, ego issue, office politics. Sometimes people scare to misuse of information or misunderstood the information.
To overcome with this problem, roles and responsibility of all the stakeholders must be define clearly. That will define the flow of information and level of information access to each and every stakeholder. Accordingly, trainings should be conducted to make the clear understanding to the stakeholders. Also trainings could be conducted for team activity, behavior science, compliance, communication management. “Right information, sharing with right people, on right time, at right place is always right.” Best Regards, Sanjay Bhure Founder & CEO SB Management & Engineering Consulting Cell: +919960290307 Mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://www.sbmec.co.in
More about Ricardo
If stakeholders resist in sharing information is because we have not done a proper identification, engagement and follow up of them. Stakeholders should be mapped based on their capacity to influence the project, and their attitude towards the project.
My recommendation is to follow the HCMBOK mapping criteria, where based on capacity to influence, there are the following categories of stakeholders (Decision maker, Direct influencing agents, Opinion makers, Spectators), and based on their attitude the following ones (Sellers, Unstable, Probable resistant, Open Boycotters, Veiled Boycotters). Depending on how is categorized each of the stakeholders based on those two parameters, we have to follow an specific strategy with them, that will not end just on the identification and initial engagement phase, if not that it will have to be followed up and reviewed during the whole project lifecycle to assure the project success.
More about Miroslav
The stakeholder is anyone in an organization who has a vested interest in the project or work at hand. (it could include: clients / buyers / users / management / government / etc.). But why do stakeholders sometimes resist in sharing information? As there are many possibilities I would stress at least two that could be useful to share.
1. In many cases the stakeholders simply want to be heard and to voice their objections. Understanding these objections can often provide a clear path toward resolution of sharing information. Listening can also help project managers identify misunderstandings about project and realized change. So a critical step for any project manager should take is to listen.
2. Remove barriers to stakeholders. Barriers may relate to many different areas, for example family, personal issues, physical limitation, money, health, etc. As a project manager you should identify the barriers clearly. Fully understand the situation with this stakeholder. What may appear to be resistance in sharing information to the project may be disguised barriers that the stakeholder cannot see. If you have done then determine ways that the business may be able to address these barriers. I am pretty sure that a small changes I mentioned can make a big difference for both project manager and stakeholder.
More about Frederic
With projects moving away from pure construction (or hardware in general) to more elaborate, complex, and often dematerialized, we realize more and more that “knowledge is power”. And there is something unfortunate that this trend coincides with the shift of most organizations to a matrix environment, where project team members retain their line accountability. It is therefore not really surprising that some stakeholders view the free sharing of information as a potential threat on their work environment, and by extension, on their livelihood.
This is even amplified for stakeholders who may be impacted by your project, when information retention may be one of the symptoms of an environment where transparency may lead to retaliation (e.g. if the project manager, or the project sponsor are well connected).
It is critical, as a project manager, that you promote a culture of openness and transparency, in particular when it is about bad news.
More about Emma-Ruth
We have to consider the human condition and the phenomenon of the bubble of control. There is a fear of change in all of us, and humans inherently believe that change will take something away from them (control, autonomy, space).
When asked to share information, if we don't make it a two way conversation (or negotiation), change feels imposed and as humans we are more likely to hold on tighter to our span of control whether that be through withholding data, opinion, or even time. We have to remember that even Stakeholders are #HumanFirst
More about Rita
Stakeholders, the essence of project! Their attitude, actions, and reactions contribute to the success of a project.
As any person, they behave differently based on their position (function, culture, situation, values, interests, etc…) and perception of facts/information. These factors motivate or discourage a person from sharing information and make them sometimes to share easily while barely in another situation.
If a person is in a good position, feeling secure and confidence, achieving on time, sharing information will be such a smooth process. However, if he is in different conditions, he may resist sharing information. Sometimes, he resists sharing information when he does not understand its importance or impacts or if it is a negative information, to protect his coworkers and to keep them motivated.
You can never judge a person without understanding his position and perception of information.
It is never a rule or a fact that a person does not share or resist sharing information.
It is about the situation, attitude, and reaction in certain circumstances.
Therefore, establishing a good communication process to share information is challenging when it comes to managing a project. These activities should never be left to chance and managed as per the person's temper, perception, and position. It should be normalized and structured. It is up to the PMO and Project Manager to decide what type of information is needed and is considered as output/input for activities/phases and to setup the structure that encourages stakeholders to share this information.
More about Aayush
There are various occasions when you as a Project Manager or a Business Analyst might encounter situations where you may feel a stakeholder is resisting sharing the information. While our initial interaction may force us to look at the stakeholder as someone who loves hoarding information but on deeper analysis, effective communication and a good relationship can help us overcome such challenges. There could be a lot of reasons why some stakeholders resist sharing information, the top three are: 1. Job Security – Some individuals in an organization may feel that sharing the tricks of the trade which they learned over the years will make them less effective in the future so they do not disclose all the information at once. 2. Culture of the organization – If an organization runs on principle like Knowledge is power and should be shared for one’s advantage than the organization is leaning towards a toxic environment. 3. Negative Stakeholders – While you may need critical bits of information for your project, the success of your project might negatively impact these stakeholders and they do not want the success of your project. There could be a lot of political reasons which make them not to share the information. To summarize, while there could be many personal, professional reasons why one may not share the information, the organization should instill a culture that promotes collaboration and a healthy work style. Leadership should keep a check on the culture and try different programs in the organization which promotes a feeling of oneness and one family.
More about Paul
There are many reasons that might lead the stakeholder to intentionally or unintentionally hide information during the project. Throughout my project management career, I've faced 2 common scenarios during which the stakeholder was either hiding information or sharing wrong information on purpose, and one scenario where the stakeholder was unintentionally hiding information.
Starting with the intentional information hiding, the first scenario is when the stakeholder is reluctant to change and hopes that by hiding information or by even sharing wrong information the project would simply fail which allows him/her to stay in their comfort zone. The second scenario is when the stakeholder don’t really trust the Project Manager and his team and feels that by sharing information he would actually be exposing critical company related information that might in a way or another get to the hands of competitors. In some cases, the above mentioned scenarios are combined which piles up additional challenges to the project.
As for unintentional information hiding, sometimes the stakeholder is always busy and unresponsive and their attention is focused elsewhere and the Project Manager can’t really force him/her to provide the needed input. This is way trickier to solve and it sometimes requires the project Manager to take some bold decisions.
Stakeholders do not resit to share information! Stakeholders resit to a change, and as a result, they do not share information.
In psychology, the concept of resistance to change refers to people experiencing emotional anxiety caused by the prospect of a transformation or change that is taking place. Therefore, it was thought that to eliminate this resistance was enough to motivate people to accept the change as an opportunity for improvement & development. However, to do this, there are several problematic areas, relating to the person's personality, life experience, or the current situation.
Let’s start from here... We know that a statico can’t persist for a long time, and the change is the only constant in life. However, we want to change and at the same time remain the same, or do the same things. This dichotomy generates resistance, often at an unconscious level. From this perspective, those are the common blocking factors that drive a person to resist a change:
- Lack of understanding the necessity of the change
- The fear from the unknown and the failure
- The imposed changes
- Changing the routine
- Lack of Motivation
- The bad timing
- The instability resulted from many consecutive changes
- Conflict with the beliefs
- The resistance behaviour
More about Linda
There could be several reasons depending on the situation and scope. However, most often stakeholders are reluctant to share info either because they don’t know how and what to share or because they lack self confidence. Another aspect is being protective of their organization.