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Stakeholder Management Simplified

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Stakeholder management on any project can be challenging. I have simplified my approach below:

  • Identify and categorise stakeholder groups
  • Find out each what each group is interested in most
  • Understand how each group would prefer to be communicated with and the frequency
  • Respond to any general queries quickly

I go through these steps to help me design a suitable strategy for communicating for each group.

Identify and categorise groups

First of all, a short brainstorming exercise is usually enough for me to highlight the main stakeholder groups in a project.

I categorise people with similar interests into the same group. For example:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Sponsors
  • Assurance Functions
  • Project Board
  • Programme Board
  • Finance

Find out each what each group is interested in most

I create a list of assumed interests for each stakeholder group, which I confirm by:

  • including a question as part of an online requirements gathering survey
  • verbally at an in-person workshop
  • including assumptions for clarification, as part of a communications approach in a project scoping document
  • documenting requirements via telephone call or online meeting

Understand how they would prefer to be communicated with and the frequency

I confirm what method of communication each stakeholder group prefers and how regularly that they would like to be updated.

A report containing financial information, probably won’t be suitable for customers who are only interested in a product launch date.

So I produce content that targets specific groups and their individual goals.

Respond to any general queries quickly

I have realised that my responsiveness to general queries helps improves the perception of my work.

I believe that stakeholders tend to use every formal and informal interaction with a project to develop a perception of the performance of it.

Responding to questions quickly can help provide a positive view of a project.

Conversely, even after creating and a agreeing a stakeholder management plan and can still be very difficult.

Unreasonable stakeholders exist. I’ll discuss this in a part 2.

What do you think improves stakeholder management?

Anthony Akadiri
Anthony Akadiri
I'm a writer who doesn't like writing many words and a management consultant with a disorganised social life. I like tech, business, positive people and long holidays 😀

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