Importance of Stakeholder Management in Project Management
November 4, 2018
One of the most critical aspects of a project is understanding the stakeholders and how to influence them. A project stakeholder is defined by the book, a guide to the project management body of knowledge PMBOK® guide as anyone that is involved in the project, as well as those who may benefit or suffer from the outcome of the project. This means that the project stakeholders can exert influence over the project. The job of the project manager and project team is to identify all pertinent stakeholders upfront in order to be successful. The identification of stakeholders is not always an easy task, and thus management of the stakeholders becomes critical. (PMI, 2003) The guide also lists the stakeholders of every project, project manager, customer or user, project team members, and sponsor. There also can be different names and categories of project stakeholders, and keep in mind that many stakeholder responsibilities may overlap. (PMI, 2003)
Stakeholder Management Defined
In PMBOK 6th edition, Stakeholder Management is defined as the process required to identify the people groups and organizations that are impacting or could impact the project. Management of these stakeholders includes the analyzation of expectations and their impact on the project, in order to develop management strategies for effectively engaging in their decisions and execution. Analyzation includes the stakeholder’s expectations and assesses the degree to which they impact the project. The management of stakeholders also provides a way for the project team to support stakeholders. (PMI, 2017) There are several methods organizations can use to manage stakeholders and influence project outcomes. According to authors Kirsi Aaltonen and Jaako Kujalab, contemporary scholars in the field of project management have devoted research in the management of primary stakeholders and have; left out a critical perspective of the secondary stakeholder. Furthermore, they write that failing to engage the secondary stakeholder can lead to negative consequences for the project overall (Aaltonen, Kujalab, 2010).
PMBOK Process Groups
Stakeholder management is used in virtually every aspect of the process groups. The first process of initiating, stakeholders are identified. The next process of planning, stakeholder management, is also planned at this time. The next process of monitoring is where you manage stakeholder engagement and finally, in controlling group process Control Stakeholder Engagement.
Considerations for Agile Adaptive Methodologies.
Project management projects rely on certain aspects to be successful, such as proper planning, understanding of the problem, and utilization of the proper tools. An article was written in the Civil Engineering Journal, Project Management: Keys to Success states distinct activities define a successful project. These activities are a detailed plan, choosing the right team, communication, managing scope and cost control. (Bentley, Rafferty, 1992) One of the tools used in agile is scrum. Scrum is defined by the American Journal of Management as, containing four key steps; planning, implementing and testing at specific process increments, then results are shared with stakeholders. (Haines, Idemudia, Raisinghani, 2017). This structure guarantees a continuous flow of project contributions and to fix any issues or objections that may interfere with stakeholders achieving the project objectives.
Occasionally, obstacles are found to the successful implementation of a project such as; resistance to change, lack of management support, organizational culture, and inappropriate training (Prashar, 2014; Antony, 2012; Aboelmaged, 2011; Kumar and Antony, 2008). With an emphasis on stakeholder management, project managers can evaluate the stakeholder’s participation and determine the best move to avoid such obstacles. In Nehemiah chapter two, the Bible tells us that before he approaches the stakeholders, Nehemiah made sure he has a good idea of what work needs to be done, and how he plans to accomplish the task of rebuilding the wall. As a project manager, Nehemiah continually returned to the wall during production to evaluate progress, gather builder feedback and report back to the stakeholders. God emphasizes the need for stakeholder engagement and understanding your audience in order to help facilitate a positive outcome for the project and ensure you will have stakeholder support in the future. The Bible talks about the skills of Nehemiah because it is essential for us to understand that integrity and trust are character traits that God wants us all to have. Project managers should use the Bible as a character guide when engaging in project stakeholders; it will ultimately help them become better project managers.
Understanding who the stakeholders are, both primary ones and secondary ones is a vital part of any project. A project manager understands that the engagement of a stakeholder can virtually make or break a projects groups, from initiation, planning to monitor and control. Every process needs to have some level of stakeholder engagement or feedback. Using the tools for stakeholder analyzation then becomes an intricate part of every project plan. A project and project managers success is based on the ability of the team and manager to use their relationship skills to get buy-in and acceptance of their project.
Aaltonen, K., & Kujalab, J. (2010). A project lifecycle perspective on stakeholder influence strategies in global projects. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(4), 381-397. doi:10.1016/j.scaman.2010.09.001
Antony, Jiju. (2012). A SWOT analysis on Six Sigma: Some perspectives from leading academics and practitioners. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. 61. 10.1108/17410401211249229.
Bentley, D., & Rafferty, G. (1992). Project Management: Keys to Success. Civil Engineering, 62(4), 58.
Haines, T., Idemudia, E. C., & Raisinghani, M. S. (2017). The conceptual model for agile tools and techniques. American Journal of Management, 17(3), 77-88. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/docview/1963800521?accountid=12085
PMI. (2003). A guide to the project management body of knowledge PMBOK® guide 2000. Newton Square, Pa: Project Management Institute. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~cagatay/cs413/PMBOK.pdf
PMI. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge: (PMBOK® Guide) (6th Ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.