Stakeholder Expectations

Thanks for inviting me to post guys!

Also, as a side note, I will upload that podcast very soon! I blame Civ 5 Gods and Kings…

So, I had an idea for a first post that I thought was good, but need has trumped that one. I would like to have some feedback from you guys on a project I have started.

As you both know, I have begun with a large scale legacy project at a company of considerable size. This project is like most legacy ones, a lot of history between the people involved, communication and cooperation breakdowns, and somewhat poor stakeholder involvement.

I have been hired to do a “performance pre-study” for a project aimed at “improving performance”, so, quite vague as to what I am actually being asked to do. Of course each stakeholder has their own ideas and expectation of what this project will or won’t bring… So, my problem is, finding out what those expectations are. Basically, my mandate is extremely unclear…

I have started having one on one meetings with the more involved stakeholders, and many of them are quite clear what their goals for the project are. But soon I will come to the discussion where I expect more vague answers to this question. How you would guys proceed with driving these discussions?

I thought of using success sliders, but the mandate is so unclear, I am not sure what to even use as sliders… I guess what I am after is a list of starting questions to ask to drive the conversation whenever it stalls. Having a lot of respect for your skills in dealing with stakeholders I thought I would pose the question here.