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As a business analyst or a project manager, you are responsible for ensuring that your project meets the needs and expectations of your stakeholders. One of the key skills that you need to master is following up on your requests to them.

Following up means checking in with your stakeholders regularly to see if they have completed the tasks that you assigned them, provided the feedback that you requested, or approved the deliverables that you submitted. It also means reminding them of the deadlines and consequences of not meeting them.

Why is following up important? Here are some reasons:

  • It shows that you care about the quality and success of your project and that you value their input and contribution.
  • It helps you avoid delays and misunderstandings that could derail your project or cause rework.
  • It builds trust and rapport with your stakeholders and fosters a collaborative and productive relationship.
  • It enables you to identify and resolve any issues or risks that may arise along the way.
  • It demonstrates your professionalism and accountability as a project leader.

How can you follow up effectively? Here are some tips:

  • Be clear and specific about what you need from your stakeholders and when you need it. Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) criteria to define your requests.
  • Communicate your requests in a polite and respectful manner. Use positive and assertive language and avoid blaming or criticizing.
  • Choose the appropriate channel and frequency for your follow-up. Depending on the urgency and complexity of your request, you may use email, phone call, instant message, or face-to-face meeting. You may also follow up once, twice, or more until you get a response or confirmation.
  • Keep track of your follow-up actions and outcomes. Use a tool or system to record who you contacted, when you contacted them, what you discussed, and what actions were agreed upon. This will help you monitor the progress of your project and provide evidence of your communication.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate your stakeholders' efforts and cooperation. Thank them for their feedback, approval, or completion of tasks. Express your gratitude and recognition for their work.

Following up on your requests to project stakeholders is not only a good practice but also a necessity for any successful project. By following up regularly and effectively, you can ensure that your project runs smoothly and meets its objectives.