A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organisation who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project.
The project stakeholder management process includes:
Planning stakeholder management
The first step is to identify those stakeholders, who could impact or be impacted by a project decision, activity, or outcome. To this end, groups or individuals with specialised training can be consulted, including:
A stakeholder register could also be created to contain all details related to the identified stakeholders, such as:
As presented the project scope, one of the initial steps is collecting and managing the requirements and expectations of stakeholders, as their interests and involvement may impact positively or negatively on the project’s performance or completion.
Through Stakeholder Analysis, quantitative and qualitative information on the stakeholders is gathered and analysed to determine the prioritisation of stakeholder interests during the project. This analysis helps to identify the interests, expectations, requirements, involvement, interdependencies and influence of stakeholders about the project. Subsequently, it also examines the stakeholders’ potential impact on project success, since the later is influenced by the sway stakeholders have over a project. Indeed, a project’s deliverables depend on the authority stakeholders may take, to become involved in different project phases and thus prompt changes in the project’s deliverables according to their needs and requirements.
The engagement level of the stakeholders
It is expected that not every stakeholder shall be equally positioned to the project and its deliverables. The stakeholder analysis reveals the engagement level of stakeholders, enabling their categorisation as:
Position of the stakeholder and actions to take
Accordingly, decisions can be made regarding the intensity and frequency of communications and involvement in regards to the project and its deliverables. A useful tool is the Power-Interest Grid
Manage stakeholder engagement
Managing stakeholder engagement is the process of communicating and collaborating with stakeholders to meet their needs, requirements and expectations within the boundaries set by the project scope. The main aim of this is to cultivate the stakeholders’ continuous support of the project. Therefore, customised and preferable communication methods must be used, according to the communications plan and the Power-Interest Grid. Moreover, conflict and dissatisfaction that may arise need to be resolved to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect between the stakeholders and the organization.
Control stakeholder engagement
The stakeholder level of engagement with the project in addition to the relationships between project team-stakeholders and among different stakeholders must be closely monitored and evaluated using various data-gathering tools. This way the project team can stay on top of positive or negative results and adjust its strategies and plans to engage further the stakeholders with the project and keep them content and, thus, invested.