Project Stakeholder Management

Although it was only added to the PMBOK" Guide as a knowledge area in the 2013 release, stakeholder management has always been a familiar and valued aspect of project management. Its elevation to a knowledge area in the standard confirmed what project managers had long understood: that managing people associated with projects, whether they are team members, vendors, end users, executives, or customers, is a critical, make-or-break area of expertise.

Stakeholder management encompasses the processes required to identify and engage with individuals or groups who may impact or be impacted by a project, address issues as they arise, and manage engagement or control expectations. Hie shift in terminology from “controlling expectations” to “managing engagement” brings a positive emphasis to the tasks associated with project stakeholder management. Recognizing and managing “current” and “desired” levels of engagement as part of stakeholder analysis are the most significant aspects of this knowledge area.

An Adaptive/Agile environment requires active engagement and participation with stakeholders. Unlike in predictive environments which may have many layers of management, meetings and reporting, agile teams engage with stakeholders directly to facilitate timely, productive discussion and decision making. It is a best practice for the client and team to exchange information in a dynamic co-creative process that leads to more stakeholder involvement and higher satisfaction. These interactions assist in mitigating risks, building trust and supporting adjustments earlier that supports the success of the initiative. These interactions accelerate the sharing of information within and across the organization promoting another best practice of aggressive transparency. The intent of inviting any stakeholders to project meetings and reviews or posting project artifacts in public spaces is to surface as quickly as possible any misalignment, dependency, or other issue related to the changing project.

Components

Stakeholder Identification

This component includes processes for identifying individuals or groups who impact or may be impacted by the activities of a project in process or the outcome or product of a completed project. Also included are processes for analyzing and documenting the influences, interests, and potential impacts of stakeholders on a project.

Stakeholder Management Planning

The development of strategies to manage and engage stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a project includes processes for determining both the current and the desired engagement levels of key stakeholders, identifying inter-relationships among stakeholders, and determining the communication requirements of stakeholders, as well as what is needed to move each stakeholder from the current to the desired level of engagement that will most benefit the project.

Managing Stakeholder Engagement

Managing stakeholder engagement involves processes for communicating with stakeholders and working with them to be certain their concerns are addressed and needs are met. Addressing issues as they arise, especially with key stakeholders, keeps projects on track.

Monitoring Stakeholder Engagement

Processes for monitoring and controlling stakeholder relationships allow project teams to address issues proactively and adjust plans and strategies as required.

Adaptive/Agile Environments: Stakeholder Engagement

Agile Stakeholder Engagement—Agile teams engage with stakeholders directly to facilitate timely, productive discussion and decision making. Hie intent of inviting stakeholders to project meetings and reviews or posting project artifacts in public spaces is to surface as quickly as possible any misalignment, dependency, or other issue related to the changing project.

Level 1: Initial Process

An ad hoc stakeholder management process is in place whereby projects manage stakeholders informally.

Stakeholder Identification

No established standards have been set to identify and analyze stakeholders and their needs and no plan exists for managing and controlling stakeholder engagement and expectations. Hie project manager communicates status and progress and issues reports on the project to management when required.

Stakeholder Management Planning

No established standards are in place for developing a strategy for managing and engaging stakeholders in projects. Project managers may provide status and progress reports to management when required but engage in little or no advance planning to meet stakeholder needs.

Managing Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder needs are addressed in an ad hoc manner, usually in response to a specific request or question about the project directed to the project manager.

Monitoring Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholders are rarely monitored for engagement satisfaction.

Adaptive/Agile Environments

Agile Stakeholder Engagement—Stakeholders are not involved, with little or no direct interaction with the agile team. Stakeholders offer no sponsorship and do not understand the value being delivered.

 
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