Stakeholder engagement is the process of managing relationships and communications with individuals or groups who have a vested interest in an organization's activities, decisions, or outcomes.
To learn about the 7 key steps in stakeholder engagement, visit our blog!
Effective stakeholder engagement is critical for the success of organizations and governments, as it allows them to understand and address the needs and concerns of their stakeholders.
However, stakeholder engagement management is a complex and dynamic process that requires careful planning, coordination, and monitoring. For tips on improving how you engage with stakeholders, check out our blog!
Traditionally, organizations and governments have used spreadsheets to manage stakeholder engagement. Believe us, we understand the appeal. It's a straightforward way to bring all your information together in one place - after all, who hasn't used a spreadsheet before?
But trust us when we say that relying on spreadsheets for managing stakeholder engagement is a huge risk.
Is it time for you to break up with spreadsheets? Visit our blog to learn more.
In this blog post, you'll learn exactly why it's such a gamble and some more effective alternatives for your stakeholder data management.
1. Limited functionality and scalability
Spreadsheets are designed to manage numerical data, not stakeholder engagement.
While spreadsheets can be used to store stakeholder information, they have limited functionality when it comes to analyzing, tracking, and reporting on that information.
As organizations and governments grow, their stakeholder engagement activities become more complex. This is when the limitations of spreadsheets become more apparent.
Spreadsheets may become unwieldy, making it difficult to manage large volumes of data or track multiple stakeholder relationships. This can result in inefficiencies, errors, or missed opportunities for engagement.
To learn more about the limited funtionality and scalability of spreadsheets, check out our blog.
2. Human error
Spreadsheets are notorious for their potential for human error.
With so much data to input and manipulate, it's easy to make mistakes that can have significant consequences.
Errors in stakeholder engagement data can lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and damaged relationships.
A simple spreadsheet error cost a TransAlta a $24 million. Chief executive Steve Snyder said the glitch was “literally a cut-and-paste error in a spreadsheet that we did not detect when we did our final sorting and ranking bids prior to submission,” Reuters reports.
The benefit to having clean stakeholder data is you can find insights about your stakeholders and project, stay on track with your stakeholder issues and commitments, and lower your project risk! For tips on keeping your stakeholder data clean, visit our blog.
3. Data security risks
Spreadsheets are often used to store sensitive information, such as stakeholder contact information and feedback.
If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could result in reputational damage, legal issues, or loss of stakeholder trust.
Spreadsheets are not designed to be secure. They can easily be shared with unauthorized personnel and lack the encryption and access control features that are necessary to protect sensitive data.
This can leave organizations vulnerable to data breaches and other security risks. This can not only put your company at risk, but it can also put you in violation of industry regulations governing stakeholder engagement.
4. Lack of collaboration
Stakeholder engagement is a dynamic process that requires real-time collaboration and coordination across different teams and departments within an organization or government.
Spreadsheets, on the other hand, are typically used by one person at a time (but require many people to contribute along the way).
Although multiple people can access and update a spreadsheet at the same time, it can become difficult to keep track of changes and ensure that everyone is working with the most up-to-date information.
This lack of real-time collaboration can result in miscommunications, duplication of effort, and data inconsistencies and errors.
To learn more about the benefits of having your stakeholder engagement data centralized, visit our blog!
5. Inefficient and time consuming
Gathering, organizing, and analyzing stakeholder information can take up valuable resource time, especially as the number of stakeholders grows.
This can slow down the stakeholder engagement process, making it more difficult to build positive relationships and achieve project objectives.
Spreadsheets also have limited reporting capabilities when it comes to stakeholder engagement.
Compiling reports from multiple spreadheads can take days.
A spreadsheet alternative
Spreadsheets have their pros—namely cost-effectiveness and ease of use—but when it comes to stakeholder engagement, it does more harm than good.
From the human errors that can occur during manual data entry to the security and compatibility issues, spreadsheets are a risky business indeed. For these reasons, stakeholder engagement professionals should look for alternative solutions that offer better control and protection over their valuable data.
Stakeholder engagement software (or SRM software) is designed specifically for managing stakeholder information and engagement activities. It provides specialized features such as stakeholder profiles, communication tracking, issues management, and collaboration tools, which can help organizations and governments to effectively manage stakeholder relationships.
Stakeholder engagement software also has advanced reporting capabilities that allow you to quickly generate reports and analyze data in real-time.
To learn more about stakeholder engagement software, visit our blog!
Additionally, stakeholder engagement software like Jambo, is built to be incredibly secure and is cloud-based, which means it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time.
If you're ready to say goodbye to spreadsheets, check out our free eBook to help you get started!