How to write a stakeholder management plan
A stakeholder can be an individual or groups with an interest in the project and can influence the future of the project. Projects have a variety of stakeholders – external, internal and extended with different interests. The external stakeholders consist of mainly the client and their project managers, internal stakeholders are the core team of management, contractors, and vendors who will work on the project and see that it is run profitably and efficiently. Employees, customers, manufacturers, vendors are the extended stakeholders. The stakeholders with an ability to directly affect the output should be referred to as key stakeholders. Consistent and strong communication with the stakeholders is important for the outcome of the project. Frequent updates are very essential to keep the stakeholder’s interest and involve their support for the project.
The project manager creates and maintains a stakeholder management plan. It should list the stakeholders, type and frequency of the communication required for them. The first step in a stakeholder management plan is to identify your stakeholders and analyze the level of interest and involvement in the project. The stakeholders will include individuals performing the work, owners, clients, shareholders, statutory bodies, regulatory bodies.
The stakeholders are to be classified into four categories on the basis of interest. It is important to access their interest in the project and determine their influence in the field as it will determine the success or failure of the project. The interest of the stakeholders can be classified into low, medium and high as it will define the stake of the stakeholders in the project. The needs of the project should be clear to the stakeholder as well as understood by the project team.
The next step is to identify the key stakeholders. The analysis of the power of the stakeholder is essential as it gives a sense of the influence of the stakeholder. A regulatory body has high power to influence the course and outcome of the project. They can change the future of the project, so it is essential to keep them informed on a regular basis and seek their feedback during the cycle of the project. The project manager on the basis of the feedbacks can involve the stakeholders in committee meetings, review meetings, core project meetings.
The next step is to make an engagement plan for communication and manage them which is created at the beginning of the project and updated as required. The communication plan should be written after the management plan as it is an important part of the project. The stakeholder management plan and engagement plan should be in a format that can be adapted and updated during the course of the project. It is the foundation of the project and communication among the stakeholders is an important factor. Weekly updates or bi-weekly updates on the progress of the project to the stakeholders to keep updated. The communication plan depends on the information and findings of the stakeholder management plan.
Stakeholder management plan along with the stakeholders requires an efficient project team which can look into the implementation of the project and communication team for updates on the progress and communication among the stakeholders.