Question: You are leading a global drug testing project that involves very sensitive information and hence confidentiality is a primary requirement. Substantial amount of time and money has been invested with the impact of failure being very severe to all the stakeholders involved.
To develop ways to effectively engage stakeholders in the project, to manage their expectations, and to ultimately achieve the project objectives, you are developing an elaborate Stakeholder Management Plan with the aim to satisfy respective needs and requirements of the Stakeholders within project boundaries.
What shall NOT be an input to the Stakeholder Management Plan?
- Stakeholder Register
- Project Management Plan
- Communication Management plan
- Manage Stakeholder Engagement
The answer to the above Question is D as the
As we shall see in this article, stakeholder register developed during the process in the Initiation phase shall provide inputs needed to plan appropriate ways to engage the stakeholders. The Project Management Plan shall be a key document as input. The needs and techniques for communication among Stakeholders shall be obtained from the Communication Management Plan.
Let us see in detail the process, Plan Stakeholder Management that occurs in the Planning phase of the “Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area”.
Plan Stakeholder Management
The plan aims to detail out how effective stakeholder management shall be carried out to effectively engage stakeholders in the project, to manage their expectations within the project boundaries and to ultimately achieve the project objectives.
This plan is essential to think ahead in time in managing the impact, relationships and the engagement of the stakeholders for a successful project.
|Plan Stakeholder Management |
Knowledge Area: Stakeholder Management
Process Group: Planning
|Inputs||Tools and Techniques||Outputs|
| || || |
To create an effective plan, judgment and expertise should be sought from experts who have insight into the relationships amongst stakeholders within and outside the performing organization such as sponsor, senior management, performing team members, past projects’ project managers and other individuals within the organization as applicable. Such inputs from experts may be obtained through one-on-one meetings, informal discussions or through a formal format (focus groups, surveys, etc.).
The stakeholder management plan provides the desired and current engagement levels of stakeholders; scope and impact of any change (scope, schedule, cost etc..) to stakeholders; identified interrelationships and potential overlap between stakeholders; stakeholder communication requirements for the current project phase; mechanism for the distribution of project information and the expected impact to stakeholder engagement; and most importantly method for updating and refining the stakeholder management plan as the project progresses and develops.
The planning of Stakeholder Engagement is also an iterative and recurring process and needs to be reviewed as new stakeholders are identified or their interests / engagement in the project changes as the project progresses. It is important that strategies to effectively engage stakeholders need to be reviewed and revised based on the analysis of the stakeholders’ needs at that point factoring in their interest levels and present potential impact on project success.
The managing of stakeholders does not just mean that adequate communications to them in the form of reports and updates are ensured. It also requires more than managing a team. Creating and maintaining relationships between the project team and other stakeholders is an important aspect of effective stakeholder management with the aim to satisfy project objectives. One needs to think about the stakeholders and develop concrete and possible action items for getting to meet their needs without hindering project success or diluting its objectives.
The Project Manager needs to be a Relationship manager as he / she handles the various stakeholders with kids gloves or the iron fist as the situation demands. It needs him to devote time and energy to know the stakeholders better as well.
Most projects, depending on their size, type, and complexity, have many supporting and opposing stakeholders. The skills of a Project Managers are challenged to efficiently classify stakeholders according to their interest, influence, and involvement in the project and prioritise the attention to be given to them.
The Stakeholder Management plan describes the classification of the engagement levels of the stakeholders and accordingly details the best policies to deal with each:
Unaware. Unaware of project and potential impacts.
Resistant. Aware of project and potential impacts and resistant to change.
Neutral. Aware of project yet neither supportive nor resistant.
Supportive. Aware of project and potential impacts and supportive to change.
Leading. Aware of project and potential impacts and actively engaged in ensuring the project is a success.
The current engagement can then be documented using Stakeholders Engagement Assessment Matrix, showing current and desired engagement levels of the stakeholders.
As important it is to identify most of the stakeholders early in the project, it is also critical to plan strategies for stakeholder engagement early in the project or phase and to manage them better, as well as identify interrelationships and potential friction areas between stakeholders. This early assessment then needs to be reviewed and updated regularly.
The “Plan Stakeholder Management” process produces the Stakeholder Management Plan that is an input to other processes:
|Sr. No.||Knowledge Area||Process Group||Process|
|2||Stakeholder||Executing||Manage Stakeholder Engagement|
- Input to Collect Requirements: The Stakeholder Management Plan is used to identify the stakeholders’. It is also required to assess and achieve the desired level of stakeholder participation in the activities related to collecting the requirements.
- Input to Manage Stakeholder Engagement: The stakeholder management plan provides guidance on how the various stakeholders can be kept efficiently involved in the project. The stakeholder management plan describes the methods and technologies used for stakeholder communication as well. This plan is used to determine the level of interactions of various stakeholders and—together with other documents—helps define a strategy for identifying and managing stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.
The Project Manager needs to understand the ever-changing needs of the stakeholders and maintain cordial relations with them by getting to know them better so that he can positively influence them to attain the project goals.