Describe the elements of a stakeholder process; make five points in your answer and draw a suitable diagram:
Stakeholders are those who have a vested interest or role in the project or are impacted by the project. Stakeholder management process involves identifying and engaging with key stakeholders with a view to ensure their early buy-in and ownership with the project.
The process involves following five points:
1. Identification of Stakeholders
2. Assessing Stakeholders
3. Plan how to communicate with them
4. Plan how to influence them
5. Make sure it has gone to plan.
Identification of Stakeholders:
Holding a brainstorming session with the key project team members will help identify the key stakeholders. These could be internal (e.g. Senior Executives, HR, Planning department etc.) as well as external bodies (e.g. The general public, government departments, interest groups etc.). These people may or may have power and/or influence over your project.
Other methods for stakeholder identification include examining company organisation charts, web sites, interviewing people etc.
Once the stakeholders are identified, it is essential which stakeholders are important. A stakeholder management grid, as below, of the Study Book) is utilised to establish a list of influential people into their relative postion.
Against the project
For the project
– Interest +
Plan how to communicate to and influence stakeholders:
A stakeholder management strategy or a communication plan will need to be developed. It will need to be embedded into the Project Management Plan.
Influencing stakeholders may be challenging as they may not want to be influenced. They may not want to help or hinder the project. Being able to influence may come at a price. They may have a completely different attitude to the one you have anticipated.
When trying to understand your stakeholders, think about the following;
– What information do they want from you?
– How would they want to receive information from you?
– Who influences their opinion generally?
– How might you manage a stakeholders opposition to the project?
The best way to understand your stakeholders is to talk to them face to face however this may not always be possible.
Try to build relationship with each of the stakeholders individually. You can colour code them; i.e. supporters in Green, critics and blockers in Red and those who are neutral in Orange.
Ensure the Senior Management backing and encourage them to take an active part in communications roll out.
Make Sure it had gone to plan:
This is about making sure that the plans have been enacted and if they have worked. If they have not then revisit the plan, reassess and do something different. Utilise the stakeholder grid to help re-assess the stakeholder map, to determine trends and how effective you have been. Any lessons learned should be documented.