Stakeholder management plan
|Stakeholder management plan|
The stakeholder management plan is made to create the desired relationships and deal with different stakeholder groups. It consists of the functions of planning, organizing, proving, motivating and controlling resources that are repeated and interrelated. The emergence of new stakeholders initiates these functions from the beginning at any time during the project. Thanks to including stakeholders in the project, it is possible to interact with stakeholders at any time. The stakeholder management plan is continuous and consists in adjusting to the emerging opportunities and threats of stakeholders and improving the strategy towards the changes.
The plan must be a separate document. Describes the strategies of the project manager's proceedings, with the help of which he will work among various stakeholder groups to support the project. In some way, the negative impact of those groups in the environment that are not interested in the project's success will be minimized and the disruptions will be minimized. The plan of proceedings also includes information on which stakeholders and how they can significantly influence the project, the degree of their involvement in the project and ways to neutralize their reservations.
Stages of creating a stakeholder management plan
The following is a universal plan for stakeholder management process, which proposes the use of six steps for stakeholder management:
- analysis of the project's environment,
- defining the goals of key stakeholders,
- assessment of own capabilities,
- problem identification,
- development of possible solutions,
- testing and modification of solutions.
Analysis of the project's environment
At this stage, project managers need to know the mood of the environment in which the project will be implemented. You should check what will be the impact of the project on the environment, whether it will stand out. It is necessary to study the "sensitivity" of the project to the environment. This stage also needs to be analyzed because for some internal stakeholders the project will not be of great importance within the organization, and external stakeholders may be negatively affected by the project.
Defining the goals of key stakeholders
To reduce the negative perception of the project by stakeholders, the first step is to define an objective view of stakeholders, which will be based on their thorough analysis, without coloring the reality, and will take into account their needs. Then you need to know the real needs of key groups of stakeholders, that is, those that are the stimuli of their behavior; hidden goals and action programs.
Assessment of own capabilities
At this stage, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the project; What are the bargaining power for each stakeholder and where to look for help, if necessary - that is, we know the potential of the project. Lack of honesty at this stage often results in a failure of the enterprise.
Identifying the problem
After analyzing the environment, key stakeholder groups and assessing one's own capabilities, the sources of existing problems are analyzed, and potential problems are identified, which is the starting point for creating a strategy of actions towards stakeholders. For example, in a situation of high uncertainty regarding the workload that is necessary for the implementation of the project, it is possible to point out problems between the project team and accounting.
Development of possible solutions
The first step in developing solutions is to create an action plan to satisfy different stakeholder groups in the context of the interests of other groups. At this stage, the project manager learns which solutions (potentially) can be taken by the management, what reactions the project may cause to the project team or the client. This will be helpful during the implementation of solutions, taking into account the interconnectedness of different groups of stakeholders. The next necessary step is to develop specific solutions before creating them. The most important at this stage is to develop as many different strategies as possible, which will allow the project manager to be as flexible as possible. Strategies must include different ways of acting, regardless of the circumstances.
Testing and modification of solutions
By creating solutions, it is assumed that the stakeholders will act in a predictable manner, which is a common mistake. At this stage, both the manager and the project team must come to terms with the interactive nature of implementing solutions. Many previous analyzes that concern stakeholders must be re-verified, as earlier assumptions may prove to be inappropriate. This step requires critical self-assessment of your own actions and assumptions as well as flexibility to introduce new ideas and information into existing strategies and make appropriate corrections to the stakeholder management plan.
Threats to the project
When project activities are too focused on meeting the needs of all stakeholders, this may result in additional project risks in the form of inputs necessary for the implementation of the project, uncontrolled increase in the scope of the project or extension of schedules. In a situation where the project manager lacks correct management mechanisms, he may deviate from the basic assumptions and strategic goals of the project or lose business justification.
Structure of stakeholder management plan
- Identification: The stakeholder management plan starts with the identification of all stakeholders involved in the project. This includes conducting interviews, surveys and workshops to understand the stakeholders’ interests and expectations.
- Engagement: The next step is to engage the stakeholders in the project. This is done by providing them with regular updates and feedback on the project. Additionally, the stakeholders should be involved in decision-making and problem-solving.
- Communication: The stakeholder management plan should include effective communication between the stakeholders. This includes using various channels, such as emails, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and online tools.
- Monitoring: It is also important to monitor the stakeholders’ expectations and interests. This is done by tracking their progress and measuring their satisfaction with the project.
- Reporting: The stakeholder management plan should also include regular reporting. This helps to ensure that the stakeholders are aware of the progress of the project and that their expectations are being met.
- Evaluation: Finally, the stakeholder management plan should include an evaluation of the results. This helps to determine if the stakeholders’ expectations have been met and to identify any areas that need improvement.
Advantages of Stakeholder management plan
A stakeholder management plan has many advantages, including:
- Improved communication between stakeholders – by creating a stakeholder management plan, stakeholders can communicate more effectively and efficiently, reducing the amount of time needed to convey messages and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
- Better understanding of stakeholders – by having a stakeholder management plan, stakeholders can better understand the needs and concerns of each other, which helps to create a collaborative environment.
- Increased stakeholder engagement – with a stakeholder management plan, stakeholders can be more engaged in the project, which can lead to better results and improved relationships.
- Improved decision-making – with a stakeholder management plan, stakeholders can make decisions based on data and facts, rather than assumptions, which can lead to more informed decisions.
- Increased accountability – a stakeholder management plan helps to ensure that all stakeholders are held accountable for their roles and responsibilities, which can improve project performance.
Limitations of Stakeholder management plan
- Stakeholder management plans are limited in their ability to predict and anticipate the reactions of stakeholders; this can cause unexpected issues or delays.
- The plan is also limited in its ability to address the unique needs of each stakeholder group, or to guarantee the involvement of the stakeholders in the project.
- Stakeholder management plans are also limited in terms of the amount of resources available to address stakeholder needs.
- Stakeholder management plans are also limited in terms of the amount of time available to address stakeholder needs, as stakeholders may need to be consulted in a timely manner.
- Stakeholder management plans are also limited in terms of their ability to define and measure success, as success is often subjective and subjective goals cannot always be measured.
- Stakeholder management plans are also limited in terms of their ability to anticipate and address changes in the external environment, as external factors can have a significant impact on the project.
The stakeholder management plan is an important part of any project and is essential to ensure that the project team is able to effectively manage the different stakeholder groups. Other approaches related to Stakeholder management plan include:
- Stakeholder Analysis – This approach involves identifying, analysing and classifying the stakeholders based on their interests and influence in the project. This helps in better understanding of the stakeholders’ position and their objectives.
- Stakeholder Engagement – This approach involves engaging the stakeholders in the project in order to gain their support and cooperation. This helps to build trust, understanding and commitment from the stakeholders which is essential for successful projects.
- Stakeholder Communication – This approach involves regular communication with the stakeholders in order to ensure that the stakeholders are kept informed about the project’s progress and any changes that need to be made. It also allows for feedback from the stakeholders and helps to manage any conflicts that may arise.
- Stakeholder Conflict Management - This approach involves managing conflicts between different stakeholders in order to ensure that the project is able to progress in a timely manner.
In summary, Stakeholder Management Plan is an essential part of project management. Other approaches related to the stakeholder management plan include stakeholder analysis, engagement, communication and conflict management. These approaches are essential for ensuring successful projects by ensuring that the stakeholders are engaged and kept informed throughout the project.
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- Cleland, D. I. (1997). Project stakeholder management. Project management handbook, 275-301.
- Sutterfield, J. S., Friday-Stroud, S. S., & Shivers-Blackwell, S. L. (2006). A case study of project and stakeholder management failures: lessons learned. Project Management Journal, 37(5), 26-35.