Stakeholder Management Plan: Definition & Example

Instructor: Noel Ransom

Noel has taught college Accounting and a host of other related topics and has a dual Master's Degree in Accounting/Finance. She is currently working on her Doctoral Degree.

This lesson provides an overview and definition of stakeholder management planning within the project management pre-planning methodology. It also includes examples of how stakeholder management plans are used in the project planning industry.

Stakeholder Management

As a project manager, you can do a great job of leading a team to achieve a goal, but without the support of project stakeholders the project still won't succeed. That's why you need to include a stakeholder management plan to ensure project success. So what are stakeholders and what is a stakeholder management plan?

A stakeholder in business is a person or business entity that is impacted by the actions of an organization or change within a particular process. Stakeholders have a vested interest in the organization. Examples of stakeholders include employees, investors, shareholders, managers and directors, suppliers, and owners of the business. Stakeholders should be considered before changes are made to processes, policies, or procedures.

Stakeholder management involves identifying people or organizations that may be impacted or affected by a project. The stakeholder management plan is developed by the project manager who analyzes all stakeholders and their anticipated expectations of the project outcome and deliverables. The purpose of the stakeholder management plan is to ensure each stakeholder is involved in project decisions and execution throughout the project.

Stakeholder Management in Action

Walter is a project manager in the planning phase of the project management lifecycle. During this phase, he must analyze stakeholder expectations to gain support for the project. Walter begins by identifying all stakeholders and their expectations of the project. Walter identifies each stakeholder by name, title, and business area and assesses all stakeholders' support for the project.

Walter discovers one of the stakeholders of the project does not agree with the project goals and does not believe the project will be successful. Unfortunately, the stakeholder is Jean, the department manager of the business area that is directly impacted by the majority of the project changes. Walter is worried that the project won't succeed without Jean's support.

Part of Walter's stakeholder management plan includes proactive communication with each stakeholder to address concerns. Walter meets with Jean to find out why she does not want to support the project. Walter discovers that Jean feels as if she has not been appropriately included in project discussions or informed of project decisions. Walter and Jean agree to schedule a series of working sessions and communication updates to incorporate her input and keep her informed of all decisions especially those impacting her business area.

Stakeholder Management Plan Example

The stakeholder management plan includes the following steps:

  • Identify stakeholders
  • Manage stakeholder expectations
  • Engage stakeholders
  • Monitor stakeholder engagement

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