Best Practices in Stakeholder Management

This article is supported by AtTask, online project management software. Request a Trial. Get a 360-degree view of all workplace activities, helping both team members and management to better understand and organize their work.

Introduction

Stakeholders in a project are those who are actively involved in a project, and whose interests are impacted by the success/failure of the project. The stakeholders could range from developers, IT support team, upper management to external vendors, customers, the government and the society at large.

The project manager has to resolve the conflicts

Given the vast number of stakeholders involved in a project, it is not unusual to have conflicts. It is the responsibility of the project manager to resolve them and direct the project towards a direction that is acceptable for all the major stakeholders. In this post, I will cover the best practices in stakeholder management.

  1. Identify and document all the major stakeholders involved in the project. Create a stakeholder map.
  2. Not all stakeholders are made the same. Prioritize the stakeholders by creating a stakeholder interest/power matrix. For each stakeholder, plot them in the grid based on their interest and importance levels. Those with high power and high interest levels are to be managed closely while those with low levels of interest & power can have minimal monitoring.
  3. Understand the motives and cultural influences of all the major stakeholders. Give them due attention and make them feel important. In many technology teams, the support teams feel left out and feel less important. As a project manager, it is important for you to keep them all motivated to complete the project. Get all the stakeholders on your side by giving due weight to their opinions and addressing their apprehensions.
  4. Clearly spell out the expectations of each of the stakeholders before the start of the project. Talk about what the developers want, the quality control guys want and the expectations of the IT support guys etc. This can avoid nasty surprises towards the end of the project.
  5. Assign roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for the major stakeholders. Make sure all the stakeholders are on the same page regarding who is waiting for what task and who is responsible for getting that task done. One way to do this is by drawing a RACI matrix.
  6. Enable proper information flow among the stakeholders. It is important to have a stakeholder meeting at least once before, during and after the project. There must be frequent updates that shows the progress of various parts of the project. Read our earlier article on the best practices in stakeholder communication.
  7. After an agreement is reached on any of the core issues (such as, what will be the dominant colors of your brand or which platform will you use for developing your website) get a sign-off from all the major stakeholders. This will guard against miscommunication and change of direction further down the line.

The project manager must respect the time and the cost for their projects

Effective stakeholder management is needed for the completion of projects on-time and at estimated costs. It is important that a project manager pays sufficient attention to this aspect.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 Wrike

Visit website

Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.

Learn more about Wrike

2 Smartsheet

Visit website

Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.

Learn more about Smartsheet

3 monday.com

Visit website

monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

Learn more about monday.com


Share Article


Tags:

Balaji Viswanathan Avatar
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.

Demos, trials & More information


Check out our library of 60+ pm books