The term Stakeholder Management is dropping out of use. Like many, I consider it disrespectful and prefer the term Stakeholder Engagement. However, the process of stakeholder engagement needs to be managed. And that is Stakeholder Engagement Management.
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What is Stakeholder Engagement Management
Stakeholder engagement management is managing the stakeholder engagement process. So, the role of the stakeholder engagement manager is to do or lead:
- Identification and analysis of project stakeholders
- Build a stakeholder engagement plan
- Design, manage, coordinate, and evaluate all stakeholder engagement activities
- Engage with senior- and mid-level stakeholders – within and outside the organization
- Provide guidance and support for other team members in their stakeholder engagement – including the project manager and project sponsor
The Process of Stakeholder Engagement Management
So, a blueprint for Stakeholder Engagement Management:
1. Set up and facilitate a stakeholder identification and analysis workshop
This includes all of the workshop design and planning, and the follow-up and documentation of the work the team does.
2. Craft the stakeholder engagement plan, and build a communications plan that links to the more strategic document.
This includes allocating roles and responsibilities – not just for preparing communications, but also for each stakeholder relationship.
3. The core of the role is to oversee all stakeholder engagement activities.
This includes designing, managing, coordinating, and evaluating them, to ensure that the right communication happens at the right time.
The coordination part is crucial. It is essential that there are no mixed messages or gaps. This will probably mean that, for larger projects, you will need to be the owner of some form of communications database to supplement the communications plan.
This part of the job also includes leading on any crisis response.
4. Day to day Stakeholder Engagement
The Stakeholder engagement manager will also have their own portfolio of stakeholders that they will take the lead on engaging with. These are likely to be mid- to senior-tier stakeholders.
But, the bigger part of their role will be providing support and guidance to all team members – from the most junior, up to the sponsor and other Project Board members – in their own stakeholder engagement.
5. Shut down
Like all important endeavors, the main process will need to come to an orderly close. That means that there is a close down step in the stakeholder engagement management process. This will involve ensuring that all relationships end (or continue) in the most positive way possible. Leaving a relationship dangling with a sudden cessation of contact is plainly disrespectful.
Information and records need to be archived or securely destroyed, as appropriate. And this needs to fully conform with relevant data protection regulations in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which the project operated.
I also recommend that a retrospective or lessons learned process takes place – either as a stand-alone exercise, or as a component of a wider end-of-project process.
Carefully curated video recommendations for you:
- Engaging Stakeholders on Projects: Interview with Elizabeth Harrin | Video
- Astonish Your Stakeholders… with a Stakeholder Listening Plan | Video
- Stakeholder Engagement Tips: 5 Tips For Project Managers | Video
- How to Build a Great Project Communications Plan | Video
- Project Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area: A Guide to Stakeholder Engagement
- Stakeholder Performance Domain: Simplicity and Power You Need to Know
- How to Plan Your Stakeholder Engagement Campaign
- Stakeholder Engagement: How to Make it Work Effectively in Hybrid Work Environments
- Good Customer Service: How to Keep Your Client and Stakeholders Happy
What Kit does a Project Manager Need?
I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own.
Note that the links are affiliated.
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