Stakeholders, including clients and end users, can often have important and useful insights into the objectives of a project. It is also often necessary to keep them informed and on-side. For this reason, it is important to involve them early in the process.
First, identify the relevant stakeholders with a mapping and analysis process. It is vital to understand what it is you need before you start engaging stakeholders. You do not want to attract the wrong people, so ensure you have carried out the relevant analysis of the situation before planning any event to attract a stakeholder to a project.
Divide them into subgroups, such as direct end users and secondary users. Identify their interest in and influence on the project, and for each group plan how you will need to inform them. When introducing the project to them, explain that you wish there to be a consultation role or collaboration between you both.
Once you have identified the relevant people devise suitable engagement events such as information campaigns, community fairs, public meetings, fishbowl sessions and formal project meetings. Make sure that you attract and retain the correct people to the project and keep them fully informed of it at all times. Arrange meetings, Skype calls or regular phone calls with them to keep the project on track.