Mudassir Iqbal

Project Stakeholder Management

Every project has stakeholders. The project wouldn’t be existing without stakeholders. Project Stakeholder management helps to build a bridge which is needed for better understanding of our audience.

Stakeholders are individuals who either care about or have a vested interest in the project. They can be a supporter or adversary and may positively or negatively influence

The project sponsor is the main stakeholder who expects to receive the project’s deliverables.

Project Stakeholder Management
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Typically, there is a certain expectation at a particular time, budget, quality level, and other standards. A project can only be a success story if it meets its objectives and meets and sometimes exceeds the expectations of project stakeholders. The project manager must be aware of all the stakeholders, understand them, and keenly manage key stakeholders expectations and influences on the project. It’s a common scenario when many project issues are emerged due to stakeholders as they are considered minor and ignored.

The best of the project can be a failure if the key stakeholders are not happy therefore stakeholder management is pivotal to the success of a project

Project Stakeholder Management Processes

Identify Stakeholders

In this first step, all stakeholders of the project are identified. This is a very basic process for a project’s existence. The

Project Stakeholder Management
Figure 5.1: Project stakeholders. Illustration from Barron & Barron Project Management for Scientists and Engineers, Source:

PMBOK highlights the Project Charter in the Project Initiation process group. All major project stakeholders should be determined prior to the project has started. A project is introduced considering the major stakeholders. This is never ending process and you may have a different set of stakeholders at different stages. Here the information who needs what, how they need it, and what method or technology will be preferred are answered here. A qualitative and quantitative analysis is required to systematically determine the interest of stakeholders throughout the project.

Plan Stakeholder Engagement

The Stakeholder Management Plan is an important component of the Project Management Plan. The plan is developed specifying how the project will communicate with every stakeholder. The project manager determines and evaluates the two aspects for each stakeholder including the interest of stakeholder in the project and the competence to control it. Additionally, stakeholder’s technical information is another major factor to consider. The stakeholder apprehensions are presented and assessed to make sure the project is all ready to progress.

Stakeholder management and Communication management go hand in hand as frequent communication is required to understand their needs, manage conflicts and to manage the influences of the stakeholders effectively.

Manage Stakeholder Engagement

During the project, all stakeholders are referred time and again to make sure their needs are successfully met and to get extended support from stakeholders. Communicating with stakeholders is performed as per the Stakeholder Management Plan. Also, the changes to the plan are carried out as required.

Good communication keeps crucial stakeholders on board.

Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

In the Monitoring and Controlling phase, the project manager makes sure that all project essentials must be executed systematically to evaluate the efficiency of the Stakeholder Management Plan. This includes revising stakeholder interactions, collecting information about them, and even gaining their feedback about the project or on certain concerns, which help in promoting strong stakeholder relationships and tailoring strategies for better future engagement.

Managing stakeholders is far more challenging than just keeping social networking because of the conflicting requirements and conflicting objectives. Conflict management strategies play a vital role in keeping the project on track.

Project Stakeholder Management

Key Deliverables for Project Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management Plan

It’s an official document framing how stakeholders will be engaged in the project. A stakeholder is an individual who has a major interest in the project.

Stakeholder Register

It refers to a project management manuscript comprising the information regarding the project’s stakeholders. It determines the individuals, groups, and corporations that have any sort of interest or participation in the project. It helps the project team to identify the appropriate focus on the project stakeholders

Further Readings

Project Stakeholder Management
© 2019 Association for Project Management

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