The (Iterative) Stakeholder Management Process

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Stakeholder Management process looks just like the basic Risk Management process. You can draw your own conclusions.” —Lockheed-Martin Manager

Question: How do we “Identify and Manage the Expectations (and actions when possible) of external people and groups that can affect (positively or negatively) your ability to deliver the Scope to the Customer on Time, within Budget, and meeting all Quality Requirements”?

Answer: We follow a proven, systematic process that looks like this:

Stakeholder Management Process.jpg
  1. Identify. First, we must identify the Project Stakeholders. We don’t have to capture them all, but we do need to strive to identify the most important. There are a variety of ways of doing this, including so-called “wheel,” “PESTLE,” “WBS,” “Phase,” and similar techniques.

  2. Document. Next, we must capture (i.e., document) the Stakeholders in a single location. This is typically performed via a document called a Stakeholder Register.

  3. Analyze & Classify. Once we’ve captured the Stakeholders in our Register, the next step is to analyze and classify them. We use a variety of metrics and techniques to perform this task; the most common method includes determinant each Stakeholder’s level of power (sometimes called influence) and interest in the Project.

  4. Plan & Implement Engagement. The primary goal of Stakeholder Management is to engage each Stakeholder in a manner that maximizes benefits to our project. This step in the process is focused on determining the best methods of communication with each entity—and then implementing these comms at the correct frequency.

  5. Monitor & Update. When done right, Stakeholder Management is an on-going, iterative process that continues throughout the lifecycle of your project. We continue Identifying, Documenting, Analyzing & Classifying, and Planning & Implementing Engagement from the start of Project Initiation all the way through the completion of Project Closure.