Stakeholder Management - What Are We Trying To Accomplish?
“The skill in stakeholder management is really an art: the art of managing people’s expectations. As PM, you need to become this artist.” —Heavy Construction Industry Sr. Manager
Before jumping into how successful Stakeholder Management is performed, we should pause and ask ourselves what we are fundamentally trying to accomplish. What is the overriding goal and purpose of Stakeholder Management? Asking—and answering—this question before beginning to initiate and plan our actions is vital to project success.
So, what would success in the area of Stakeholder Management look like? What are we actually trying to achieve and accomplish? In simple terms, the following three items are the goal of successful Stakeholder Management:
Identify all relevant project stakeholders.
Review and analyze the influence and interest that each of the relevant stakeholders has over our project.
Plan and implement the appropriate level of engagement—and, whenever possible, influence the actions of—the most relevant stakeholders.
Said more simply, our goal is to: Manage the expectations of outside entities that can affect (positively or negatively) our ability to deliver the Product Scope to the Customer, on Time, on Budget, and meeting all Quality Requirements. Rarely do we have the ability to directly control the actions of external stakeholders, but we can strive to manage their expectations in a way that helps—rather than hurts—our ability to successfully conduct the project.