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APMP Capture Practitioner-Stakeholder Engagement and Management

Baskar Sundaram
Effective communication between the proposal team and its stakeholders is needed for the proposal development process to succeed. The Bid or Proposal Manager must lead the stakeholder community, a unique audience that’s often separate from the team and to whom the delegation is rarely appropriate. When dealing with stakeholders, influence and negotiation are important. The Bid or Proposal Manager will need to have conflict management skills no matter how well-honed his or her other interpersonal skills may be. The Bid or Proposal Manager must understand the stakeholders to be able to encode messages correctly and use appropriate channels to maximize the effectiveness of any communication.

Gain support for the team’s objectives.

The Bid or Proposal Manager must seek to affect the behaviours and actions of others through influence rather than authority. Stakeholder management identifies people the Bid or Proposal Manager needs to influence. This influence may be required to overcome objections, secure resources, or even to help influence others. Managers must understand their sources and levels of power so they can be used constructively and not abused. If influencing is successful, it will change the attitudes and behaviours of others. The result will be acceptance of and support for the objectives of the work.

Use negotiation

Negotiation is a collective term for various mechanisms that seek to resolve differences between individuals, groups, or companies. Its goals are to find solutions to issues involving two or more parties and to develop beneficial relationships between two or more parties The principles of negotiation are used in conflict management and procurement. Addressing personal conflict often involves emotional and cultural issues, whereas procurement negotiation is usually about contractual terms and conditions. Competitive negotiation is about getting the best deal for one party, regardless of the needs and interests of the other. Although you should avoid competitive negotiation, you might not always be able to. Collaborative negotiation seeks to create a scenario in which all parties involved get part or all of what they want. This approach tends to produce longer-term solutions and minimize the opportunity for future conflict. Never enter into negotiations unprepared. This can easily lead to mistakes, such as making opening offers that are clearly unacceptable to the other parties. When bargaining, it’s important to stay calm and know when to take a break. The Bid or Proposal Manager must lead the stakeholder community and influence behaviours and activities that support the team’s objectives.

The article briefly details key examinable syllabus area from the APMP Practitioner certification.

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