Stakeholders are those with an interest in the project’s outcome. They are typically the project team members, project managers, executives, project sponsors, customers, and users. Stakeholders are those individuals or entities who have invested in the project and will be affected by the project, and their input can directly impact the outcome. For mega capital projects, the list of direct and indirect stakeholders can be extensive, and failing to identify and manage those stakeholders could increase the high risk of project failure. The stakeholder influence chart of Beirut Central District, also known as SOLIDERE, is an example of how complex stakeholder analysis and management can be.
Implementing a formal project stakeholder management process is crucial for identifying people or organizations that may impact or be impacted by the project and enabling the project management team to develop strategies to manage those stakeholders’ expectations. Organizations can use a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb to create a formal process for identifying, analyzing, and managing stakeholders. The data captured for those stakeholders will become available to the organization should the same stakeholders are encountered other projects managed by the organization.
The project team will use the PMWeb companies’ module to capture the names and address details of all possible stakeholders, including the GIS location of each stakeholder entity, by providing the latitude and longitude values. In addition, the companies’ module will capture details of individuals who might be considered in the stakeholder assessment. This list of stakeholders will become available for all projects managed in PMWeb.
The Project Stakeholder Analysis form will be created using the PMWeb custom form builder. It is vital to have a comprehensive document and capture all possible details on the stakeholder to enable the project team to select the right strategy for managing the stakeholder. The role field is used to identify the role of each stakeholder. The values could be Accountable for outcomes of the decisions, “the buck stops here”, Responsible for executing, “ensure the work gets done,” Consulting for those Involved in the process but not decision-makers, Informed for those who need to be communicated on the outcome of a decision, Veto for those who have the authority to override the decision and Devil’s Advocate for those who speak to the downsizing of the findings. The form will include the details of fundamental interests and issues such as benefits, changes by stakeholders, damage, or conflict. The form will consist of assessing the impact of the critical interests of the stakeholder, which could be High, Medium, or Low. The form will include the current status of the stakeholder, which could be advocate, supporter, neutral, critic, or blocker.
Based on each stakeholder’s captured details, the form will include the strategies for obtaining support and reducing obstacles. The form will also include details of the key communication points to deal with the stakeholder. The stakeholder assessment will identify the influence and interest of the stakeholder on a scale of 6 points, where 1 is very low, and 6 is very high. This will enable the project team to establish the stakeholder response strategy, which could be Keep Satisfied for high interest and low influence, Manage Closely for high interest and high influence, Keep Informed for low interest and high influence, and Monitor for low interest and low influence.
The form will also include a list of critical questions that will help to get more details and understanding of the stakeholder and their influence and interest in the project. The questions will help prompt answers on how the stakeholder will likely feel about and react to the project. Also, it helps the project team to know how best to engage the stakeholder in the project and how best to communicate with them.
The Project Stakeholder Analysis form will also include a table that will list the Stakeholder Interface Actions that need to be taken to manage and engage the stakeholder. For each identified action, there will be fields for the due date, actual date, and status if completed.
The Project Stakeholder Analysis form attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents used in the stakeholder assessment and response. The form will also include a workflow to formalize the review and approval of the stakeholder analysis.
The data captured in the Project Stakeholder Analysis form will become the basis for creating the stakeholder analysis and register report. The report will include a register of all identified project stakeholders and the captured data for each stakeholder. The report consists of five visuals to group the project stakeholders by stakeholder company type, stakeholder role, assessment of impact, current stakeholder status, and selected-response strategy. The report will also include a visual for the stakeholder prioritization grid, which shows each stakeholder reported interest and influence against a score of 6 for each. The chart color code the stakeholders by the four types of response strategy being Keep Satisfied for high interest and low influence, Manage Closely for high interest and high influence, Keep Informed for low interest and high influence, and Monitor for low interest and low influence.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM, is a Senior Project Management Consultant with over 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in project management, including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written over 250 project management and information systems articles featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for over six years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation from George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA, Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.