How to Become a Trusted Advisor and Influence Without Authority
By Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP and Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP
Become a trusted advisor!
A common organizational challenge is to manage and take advantage of the rapid changes in today's business environment. Information workers such as business analysts, project managers, process analysts, and others have to influence various stakeholders, regardless of their position in the organization. What makes this ability to influence without authority seem so easy for some and nearly impossible for others? Successful influencers have learned to be trusted advisors in their organizations. They follow three steps which the authors call the “Influencing Formula.”
This unique project-focused book on influencing is packed with countless practical tips, techniques, and examples of how to influence without authority. The authors together have amassed over 60 years of first-hand experience running projects and doing business analysis in small, medium, and large organizations. Their experience as practitioners, combined with over 20 years of running their company, Watermark Learning, provides them a realistic and proven base of knowledge and skills at being influential. They packaged their combined experience into a concept they call “The Influencing Formula” and now share it with other project professionals.
What you'll learn
- Use a 10-question self-assessment questionnaire to determine if you are ready to be a trusted advisor.
- Learn how to overcome the six common barriers to influencing without authority.
- Learn numerous techniques to build trust with stakeholders, and avoid the most common ways to “bust” trust with them.
- For virtual teams, discover the top 10 techniques for building trust and collaboration when you are physically separated.
- Receive extensive coverage of six effective preparation techniques that will increase influence.
- Uncover 12 proven tools to help with consultative preparation and greater influence, including over 100 consultative questions to choose from to help understand business needs and requirements for projects.
- Learn 7 keys to being courageous and how to employ them effectively on projects and gain support for your ideas and recommendations.
- Find out the 10 most common mistakes that project professionals make with difficult stakeholders and how to avoid them.
“The Larson duo have succeeded once again in authoring this essential text for business analysts and project managers. The Influencing Formula provides tried-and-true tools and techniques, and some that are even magical. Anyone who has a leadership role in contemporary projects designed to drive business innovation should have the Larsons' indispensable book on their shelves.”
—Kitty Hass, PMP, Author of The Enterprise Business Analyst
“I have been a long-time advocate of meaningfully involving sponsors and clients in their project. It is difficult, but essential to project success, especially implementation. Here is a book that will create awareness about how to establish effective client relationships between the PM or BA and their sponsoring agency. The Larsons have given us solid advice on how to interact with the sponsor and the client that I personally recommend. I will be able to add practices that will strengthen my client relationship efforts. Whatever your client relations situation, you will benefit too. ”
—Robert K. Wysocki, PhD, President EII Publications, Author of Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme
"At last, a 'leadership' book that focuses on the Business Analyst role! The Larsons have assembled a comprehensive collection of knowledge worth practicing in 'BA space', while clearly explaining personal attributes such as character, courage, credibility and leadership. The BABOK lists the underlying competencies, but the Larsons show you how to make them so. Highly recommended."
—Marcos Ferrer, CBAP
About the Authors
Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP and Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP are Co-Principals of Watermark Learning, a globally recognized business analysis and project management training company. For over 20 years, they have used their extensive experience in both business analysis and project management to help thousands of BA and PM practitioners develop new skills. One or both of them are contributors to the IIBA Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) version 2.0 and 3.0, and are contributors to the 4th and 5th editions of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). They have presented countless workshops, seminars, and training classes on five different continents. Both Larsons are repeat speakers at Project Management Institute (PMI) North American, European, and Asia-Pacific Congresses, and at Business Analyst World conferences both nationally and internationally. They are both award-winning members of the Minnesota chapter of PMI and founding members of two IIBA chapters. Both Elizabeth and Richard are among the world's first certified Business Analysis Professionals (CBAP) through the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).
Table of Contents
The Influencing Formula
Chapter 1: Introduction to Influencing
Chapter 2: Influence and Authority
Chaper 3: Building Trust
Chapter 4: Influential Preparation
Chapter 5: Stakeholder Analysis
Chapter 6: Influential Consulting Skills
Chapter 7: Consultative Questioning
Chapter 8: Developing the Courage to be Influential
Chapter 9: Influencing Difficult Stakeholders
Epilogue: Putting the Influencing Formula Together