Teamwork and project management. (3rd ed.)
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The definition of Stakeholder management is: the process of managing the expectation of anyone that has an interest in a project or will be effected by its deliverables or outputs. Therefore, it is very important to know and manage your stakeholders.
There are two major elements to Stakeholder Management: Stakeholder Analysis and Stakeholder Planning. Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have to be won over. You then use Stakeholder Planning to build the support that helps you succeed.
The best ways to manage your projects stakeholders are:
- Identify Who Your Stakeholders Are: You must know who you need to keep informed and what power they posses over your projects outcome.
Prioritize Your Stakeholders: You must know who has the power to help or hurt your projects progress and completion.
Understanding your key stakeholders: You must know the key factors, emotions, motivations, and the best way to communicate with each of your stakeholders.
The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are that:
- You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage. Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, their input can also improve the quality of your project.
- Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources – this makes it more likely that your projects will be successful.
- By communicating with stakeholders early and often, you can ensure that they know what you are doing and fully understand the benefits of your project – this means they can support you actively when necessary.
- You can anticipate what people's reaction to your project may be, and build into your plan the actions that will win people's support (Mindtools.com, 2009)
On a personal note:
it only took one project for me to realize the weight that a stakeholder plays in any project. If you miss calculate who has the real power and communicate with only a chosen few stakeholders, you will alienate a huge amount of help and resources that you could have otherwise put to your advantage. I have used a stakeholder-based approach ever since my first project went bust because of a mismanagement of stakeholders. In conclusion, stakeholders are very important to the current and future outcomes of all of your projects.
Mindtools.com. 2009. Stakeholder Analysis. Retrieved. November 29, 2009. from: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htm
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