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Project Stakeholder Management

May 20, 2014
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What is Project Stakeholder Management?

It is the art of engaging the right people in the right way so that the success of the project is ensured. Having the right stakeholder management can make a huge difference to your project success.

Who is a project stakeholder?

Project Stakeholders are the entities that have interest in the project
The stakeholders may be inside or outside an organization which
  • Sponsors a project
  • Have an influence on the completion of the project
  • Are dependent on the successful completion of the project

The project stakeholders may include customer, Project team managers, Team Leaders, Team Members etc

Examples of poor stakeholder Management

  • Thousands of bus travellers were unable to use their cards for travelling in New York as the card readers failed. Apparently, many travellers suffered as there was no communication about the failure and the travellers expected the card readers to work always.

What can poor stakeholder Management lead to?

  • If you communicate with the stakeholders very late, they may not revise their expectations. Hence their views may be left out
  • If you involve the stakeholders in the decision-making process too early, then it may lead to wrong decisions
  • If the contribution of the stakeholders to the discussion is undervalued
  • Involving the wrong stakeholder can result in a decrease in the value of the project and external criticism.

Type of engagement level of Stakeholders

  • Unaware- Thesestakeholders are unaware of the project development.
  • Resistant- These stakeholders are resistant to change
  • Neutral
  • Supportive- these stakeholders support change
  • Leading- These stakeholders are actively engaged to ensure the success of the project

What approach is followed?

Step 1 To start with in a project the stakeholder sheet is maintained. A typical stakeholder sheet contains the following entry
  • Stakeholder Name
  • Key interests and Issues
  • Current status
  • Desired Role in the project
  • Messages for communication
  • Action required
Step 2 Based on theinterests of the stakeholder, update the interest and stakeholder name in each sheet

Step 3 Decide on the time you allocate to each stakeholder for communication. This depends on the size and complexity of the project. Think on the help and communication you need from each stakeholder. Also decide on the roles of each stakeholder.

Step 4 Next decide on the messages that you need to communicate to each stakeholder. These messages will include the benefit to each stakeholder. Also the messages should include key performance drivers.

Step 5Decide on what you need to get the support of each stakeholder. Focus on the high interest stakeholder first and the low interest stakeholder last, device a plan that communicates the right amount of information to the right people.

What is Project Stakeholder Management?

Power Interest Grid

  Interest High Interest Low
power High A K (Satisfy) B (Manage perfectly)
Power Low D G H (Minimum Effort) C (Inform regularly)

Effectively managing Output to the stakeholder

  • Inform the stakeholders about the change requests
  • Inform about Project document updates
  • Inform about Project Management Plan updates


About the Author

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