Everything you need to know about Stakeholder Management

 

The practice of identifying, prioritizing, and including stakeholders throughout the product development process is known as stakeholder management. It’s crucial to product management because stakeholders, or the people or organizations that may affect a product’s performance and execution or have an effect on it, eventually have a big say in how long it lasts.

Creating a Stakeholder Management Plan

It is wise to remember that “No man is an island.” Why? Because you work on practically all projects that involve other individuals. And you’ll likely rely on a few for essential assistance, capital, and resources.

Your management of your stakeholders will rely on:

  • The project’s scope and complexity. You may evaluate this by comparing to previous projects, looking at the project’s milestones, or looking at the resources needed or the time allotted, for example.
  • The level of assistance you need to get the outcomes you want.

What Kinds of Stakeholders Are There?

Internal and external stakeholders come in a wide variety. A few examples are customers, shareholders, suppliers, communities, and governments. Downstream stakeholders support, sell, and advertise a product, as well as people who purchase or use it.

Five Steps to Create a Stakeholder Management Plan

There are several best practices to manage your stakeholder interactions, even if each stakeholder management method might vary based on the objectives of your project or organization.

Make sure your stakeholder management strategy covers your bases by following these five steps.

Steps Explanation
1.      Identify your Stakeholders

 

Correct stakeholder identification is the first stage in any successful stakeholder management strategy.
2.      Give Your Stakeholders Priority Keep track of which important stakeholders will most influence the project and when that impact will grow or diminish.
3.      Stakeholder interviews At first, working with new stakeholders might be challenging. It is recommended that you interview the project’s stakeholders.

·         What goals do you have for this project?

·         Which deliverables pique your curiosity the most?

·         What future changes do you think this effort will bring about?

·         How rapidly do you see this project progressing?

·         If you have a favourable opinion of this initiative, why?

·         Why are you concerned about this project, if at all?

4.      Establish a Power Interest Grid. A chart that enables you to ascertain the degree of power and interest that your stakeholders have in the project is known as a power interest grid or project interest matrix.

Listed in order of significance.

• High-ranking, keenly interested parties

• High-ranking but uninterested parties

• Stakeholders with little power but significant interest

• Small-scale, uninterested stakeholders

5.      Define and Control Expectations

 

Clearly state the phases in which each critical stakeholder will participate and the deadlines by which their response is required.

Essential guidelines for stakeholder involvement

Stakeholder management and engagement are perhaps the most crucial project delivery factors. However, they are often seen as ancillary activities or tasks that may be delegated to business-as-usual services. People only react when they are actively involved.

1.     Consult often and early

For instance, a project’s aim, scope, dangers, and methodology may be unclear to its stakeholders, especially in the early phases.

Resource examples
  • Participant involvement and communication in a city-based transportation initiative
  • Stakeholder dialogue in a proposal to expand a school
  • Better stakeholder relations during the construction of a university research facility
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a hostel building project

2.     Recall that they are just human.

Recognize that people don’t always act logically, sensibly, consistently, or predictably, and be mindful of others’ sentiments and possible personal agendas.

Resource examples
  • Participant involvement in an international software project
  • Stakeholder involvement and international teams
  • Changes within organizations and stakeholder management
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Participant involvement and communication in a city-based transportation initiative

3.     Talk to others

It’s critical to try to understand the individuals you will be working with and depending on throughout the stages of the project lifecycle before seeking to engage and influence stakeholders.

Resource examples
  • Participant involvement in an international software project
  • Changes within organizations and stakeholder management
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a software delivery project
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project

4.     Crucial Relationships

Building connections lead to more trust. And when there is trust, collaboration is easier and more productive.

Resource examples
  • Participation of stakeholders in a global research and development effort
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • One for all and all for one!
  • How crucial is this project?

5.     Easy but not simple

In addition to traditional planning, adopting foresight to foresee risks and collaborating with stakeholders to take simple and timely steps may dramatically enhance project delivery.

Resource examples
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a software delivery project
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Participant involvement and communication in a city-based transportation initiative

6.     Plan it!

Therefore, stakeholder participation requires and is urged to adopt a more thoughtful and deliberate approach.

Resource examples
  • Stakeholder involvement and international teams
  • Changes within organizations and stakeholder management
  • Better stakeholder relations during the construction of a university research facility
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction throughout the implementation of an IT system

7.     Risk management

Stakeholders should be viewed as possible sources of risk and opportunity for the project since they are significant, influential resources.

Resource examples
  • Changes within organizations and stakeholder management
  • Participation of stakeholders in a global research and development effort
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Interaction between stakeholders in a project team.

8.     Recognize the success

Establish what your stakeholder community views as success in the context of project delivery.

Resource examples
  • Participation of stakeholders in a global research and development effort
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction throughout the implementation of an IT system

9.     Make a compromise

The first step is to choose the baseline that will work best given the diverse expectations and goals of the stakeholders.

Resource examples
  • Changes within organizations and stakeholder management
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a hostel building project

10. Accept accountability

One project team member cannot be solely responsible for engaging stakeholders. Everyone must be aware of their responsibilities and use the proper methods of participation and communication.

Resource examples
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a software delivery project
  • Enhanced stakeholder interaction in a public infrastructure project
  • Stakeholder engagement in a business effort for a mining firm

Wrap up

Relationships are essential in stakeholder management because they foster more trust. People cooperate more successfully when they have confidence in one another. The most important stakeholders for your project are those in the upper right quadrant of your Power Interest Grid since they are essential to its success.

Consult with them to keep your stakeholders “on board” and prevent any unpleasant shocks or misunderstandings.

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