Monitoring and Updating Project Stakeholders
The final step in the stakeholder management process isn’t actual a “final” step. Instead, it’s simply going back to the start of the entire loop to continue the process over again. Stakeholder management isn’t something that is done once in the beginning of a project and then forgotten about. As we saw previously, our job in project management is to continuously monitor all the stakeholders currently identified in the registry and update their statuses as appropriate. But that’s just part of the “monitor and update” step; we also have to regularly review and identify new stakeholders as they ebb and flow into/out-of the project.
As your project moves from the initiation stage, through planning, execution, monitoring & controlling, and even closing, new stakeholders can and do come into play. Others leave. You must stay on top of these changes. New stakeholder entities can come into play that may have a significant impact on your chances of project success. Regularly surveying for new stakeholders is paramount to success.
Similarly, previously identified and managed stakeholders may become less relevant. Their influence and/or interest levels may change. They might even fall off the registry altogether. Spending valuable project time managing engagement with stakeholders that have lost interest, lost influence, and/or are no longer relevant to your project, can be a waste of project resources.
The bottom line is this: Stakeholder management is an ongoing and iterative process. Your job is to continue to identify, document, analyze & classify, plan, and execute the appropriate level of engagement with all relevant stakeholders throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.