High Stakes For Stakeholder Management

Read it in 0 Mins

Last updated on
28th Aug, 2019
14th Jun, 2017
High Stakes For Stakeholder Management

A generous tip: Scenario based stakeholder related questions in the PMP exam shall describe situations involving disagreements, conflicts, fights, walk outs and stalemates between stakeholders and team members that shall require you, as the Project Manager, to resolve suiting the best interests of the projects. Answer options given may provide choices for escalating the issues to a level higher, imposing decisions based on your positional authority or ignoring the issue completely by not taking any action. Yet, the best answer to be chosen in this scenario is to talk openly with the concerned parties (jointly or individually), listen to their views and arrive at amicable and acceptable solutions convincing the conflicting parties on how the solution suits to the best interest of the project.

The fine art of Project Management involves knowing human psychology and juggling emotions as well. As a project manager, you need to know all those who are affected, even remotely, by your project. If you do not handle these people well, you may discover that they have needs that you are not meeting. And these needs may come back to haunt you back and even jeopardise your smoothly running endeavour!

A successful project involves satisfied stakeholders and realising that stakeholder management is critical, PMI added a separate chapter devoted to Stakeholder Management as a new Knowledge Area in the 5th Edition of PMBOK® Guide rather than having it as part of Communication Management. More details about this given here: . The primary reason for this is that keeping stakeholders informed is just tip of the iceberg in ensuring effective stakeholder engagement and questions involving identification and managing stakeholders in various scenario based questions are found quite commonly in the PMP exam.

Stakeholders are anyone, everyone and even organizations whose interests may be positively or negatively impacted by the project or the product, as well as anyone who can exert a positive or a negative influence over the project. This potentially vast set shall include sponsor, team members (dealt separately as the HR Knowledge Area, but no doubt important stakeholders), senior management, PMO, consultants, customers (end users of the products or service), subject matter experts, other departments or groups within the performing organization, vendors, regulatory agencies, custom officials, financial institutions, and the list can be endless.

For a successful project, it is important the stakeholders are not just identified, their influence is analysed and ways identified to manage the impacts effectively. 5th Edition of PMBOK® Guide has broken down Stakeholder Management into the following processes:

INITIATION: 13.1 Identify Stakeholders
PLANNING: 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management
EXECUTION: 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement
MONITORING AND CONTROLLING: 13.4 Control Stakeholder Engagement

Do remember that Stakeholder Management is a unique Knowledge Area wherein identifying the stakeholders for the project start even before the Knowledge Area’s Management Plan (or its draft) is in place. Such is the influence of stakeholders that an opposing stakeholder may be powerful enough to stall or cancel the venture even before it’s Project Charter is rolled out. Of course, the processes are iterative in nature and are reviewed, revised and bettered as the project progresses. Any stakeholders who are missed are likely to be found later. However, the later these stakeholders are discovered in a project, the more risk of their requesting changes and causing delays and additional costs occurring.

Identify Stakeholders
Stakeholders are identified as part of the project initiation with this list reviewed and updated as the project progresses. The process involves identifying the people, groups, or organizations that could impact or be impacted by a decision, activity, or outcome of the project; and analyzing and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement, interdependencies, influence, and potential impact on project success. Identifying all stakeholders helps in a better manageable project as it factors in all the stakeholder’s interests at the planning stage itself.

Identify Stakeholder Management


Knowledge Area: Stakeholder Management

Process Group: Initiation

PMBOK 13.1


InputsTools and TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project charter
  2. Procurement documents
  3. Enterprise environmental factors
  4. Organizational process assets


  1. Stakeholder analysis
  2. Expert judgement
  3. Meetings


  1. Stakeholder register


All the information about stakeholders is compiled in the stakeholder register, an output of this process. It may include each stakeholder’s name, title, role, major requirements and expectations, impact and influence, attitude about the project, classification and other relevant information that may be populated as the project progresses and more information comes in.

  1. Plan Stakeholder Management
    The process of developing appropriate management strategies to effectively engage stakeholders throughout the project life cycle, based on the analysis of their needs, interests, and potential impact on project success. 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

PMBOK 13.2


InputsTools and TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
  2. Stakeholder register
  3. Enterprise environmental factors
  4. Organizational process assets


  1. Expert judgement
  2. Meetings
  3. Analytical techniques



  1. Stakeholder management plan
  2. Project document updates


Just like the need to have updates to the stakeholder register, the introduction of new stakeholders may require changes to the plan as well to finely tune things up for an effective project delivery.

  1. Manage Stakeholder Engagement
    The process of communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs/expectations, address issues as they occur, and foster appropriate stakeholder engagement in project activities throughout the project life cycle.
Manage Stakeholder Engagement


Knowledge Area: Stakeholder Management

Process Group: Executing

PMBOK 13.3


InputsTools and TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project Management Plan
  2. Communication management plan
  3. Change log
  4. Organizational process assets


  1. Communication methods
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Management skills


  1. Issue log
  2. Change requests
  3. PMP updates
  4. Project document updates
  5. OPA updates


Managing stakeholder engagement and expectations is important throughout the life of the project as it is critical to meet stakeholder needs, resolve their issues and make sure they remain supportive (or neutral if not opposing) for the eventual success of the project.

  1. Controlling Stakeholder Engagement
    The process of monitoring overall project stakeholder relationships and adjusting strategies and plans for engaging stakeholders.

Controlling Stakeholder Engagement


Knowledge Area: Stakeholder Management

Process Group: Monitoring and Controlling

PMBOK 13.4


InputsTools and TechniquesOutputs
  1. Project management plan
  2. Issue log
  3. Work performance data
  4. Project document


  1. Information management systems
  2. Expert judgement
  3. Meetings


  1. Work performance information
  2. Change requests
  3. PMP updates
  4. Project document updates
  5. OPA updates


Controlling Stakeholder engagement requires one to compare actual work against the Project (and Stakeholder Management Plan). Any variances may indicate a problem with stakeholder engagement. The variances will principally be reflected in the Project’s Key Performance Indicators, namely scope, time, cost and quality. In addition to the plan, the issue log shall also be a key document that shall track live problems that may have cropped up that need to be tackled and mitigated to calm concerns, confusions, disagreements and unresolved questions.
As mentioned earlier, effective communication plays a key role is stakeholder engagement. To maintain good and strong relationships with the stakeholders, one needs to spend time talking to them and develop ways to listen and gather information about their expectations and understand their ever changing needs on the project. Being tuned in to stakeholders will help any Project Manager at the helm of the ship steer it better!



KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.