I've recently started a new project. Requirements were set, project was already specified and no new revolutionary 'features' can be added. Although on the client side, person responsible for project changed.

My question is how to engage this person into project. As I said requirements are set and nothing 'new' can be added. This person would provide essential resources for the project from the client side and it's necessary to get really motivated and involved into project.


The best way, in my experience, is to show them how the project makes their life better. What it does for them. Sell them on that. Every stakeholder has a pain point, and if you can find it (and show how your project will help remove that pain), people will fall off trees to help you.

  • +1 Make an appoint asap, and discuss how your project (even though they can't change it's course) will help solve their troubles – Jakob Buis Feb 10 '11 at 8:16

Start with a lunch, coffee or phone conversation to build a relationship.

If this has been assigned to them as part of their work responsibilities they should already be engaged, professionally. You need to work on getting them personally engaged.


Try to be open with the new client representative. Explain him/her that you're in trouble. That you already have a requirements document baselined, but with his/her predecessor. Ask for help. You're in the same boat, after all. You're not enemies, but partners.


People like to be asked for help- it makes them feel important and valuable. In this situation, I would plan to meet with the new person to "go over the project with them", and as part of the planning activity, identify a few key areas where you could do with some assistance from them. Make sure these are genuine - not just trivial matters for the sake of asking for help. Every project has them, and they are typically such things as improving communications, seeking user-side resources, user involvement in testing the processes, etc. If the new stakeholder agrees to help, he or she is likely to be on your side, if the question was asked in a positive manner. If he or she won't help, you've got a problem - but at least you know!

I wouldn't be asking for new ideas or additional features at this point, as the scope should only change via proper change management processes.


Personally, I would approach the stakeholder(s) and let them know what you were working on.

Ask if they have any suggestions or feature requests, etc.

  • Wouldn't do any good if in a feature-freeze (as indicated above) – Jakob Buis Feb 10 '11 at 8:15

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