Stakeholder Management Strategies & Tools
Leverage your stakeholder relationships and get more out of your projects.
ProjectManager.com has easy-to-use tracking and reporting features that keep your stakeholders happy and informed.
Getting Started with Project Stakeholder Management
Experienced project managers understand the importance of stakeholder management. Stakeholders can influence many aspects of a project, including its budget, resources and overall progression — for better or worse.
In order to manage stakeholders well, a fluid line of communication must be established. This requires that a project manager deliver regular reports to stakeholders and actively listen whenever stakeholders provide feedback. But before you can properly communicate with stakeholders, you must first identify them.
The term stakeholder includes anyone that is affected by the project, both within your organization and without. Typical stakeholders can include investors, regulatory bodies, vendors, project teams, senior managers, board members and more. Obviously, not all of those stakeholders will be impacted by the project to the same degree, so the next step is to identify how and to what extent each stakeholder is affected.
Stakeholder Analysis & Prioritization
Now that your stakeholders have been identified, you need to analyze their interest in your project and their influence on its outcome. These two metrics combined will help you prioritize which stakeholders you should focus on as you manage your project.
For example, if a stakeholder has a lot of influence over the project, but isn’t that interested in its daily progress, then you probably shouldn’t pester them with status reports every day. For help with prioritizing your project stakeholders, it’s common to perform a visual process called stakeholder mapping.
Keep in mind that a stakeholder mapping matrix will only give part of the story, as stakeholders are human beings and will naturally react to events and communications in unique ways, even if they have similar levels of interest and influence. Some individuals might have endless patience, while others might be quick to anger. This is important to consider as you plan communications with your stakeholder management plan.