Stakeholder Register in Project Management
Stakeholder management is one of the most important processes in any projects life cycle. It is a type of strategic management process that smart project managers follow to get support for their projects from others, both internal and external. Stakeholders can be an individual, an organization, a community, a group of people, an investor that can effect or be effected by the outcomes of a project or an organization. They may have positive or negative impacts and they may be either internal or external to the organization. A Stakeholder register is created to document who is impacted by the project and their influence and impact on the project. It contains information to deal with stakeholders who have different levels of interests and impacts on the projects objectives. In this article we will discuss stakeholder register and its importance in project management.
Why is Stakeholder Management Important for the Success of a Project ?
Stakeholders can be positive, negative, internal or external to the project or organization. Department heads, project coordinators, project team members, executive managers, board of directors and project sponsors are the example for internal stakeholders whose operations affect or be affected by the project.
External stakeholders are those who are external to the projects organization. Vendors, suppliers, regulatory bodies, government, communities and organizations are the example for external stakeholders.
Stakeholder satisfaction is a key success criteria for any type of project. No matter if you’re managing an IT project or a pipeline construction project, you have to fullfill your stakeholders requirements. For successful project managers, it is a good practice to fully engage all positive stakeholders using effective communication tools and techniques based on a strategy.
Stakeholder management is a repetitious process which is performed through a life cycle of a project. Although there are many tools and techniques available for the development of a stakeholder strategy, stakeholder management is a unique process to the project. Therefore it should be tailored considering the characteristics of the project.
Identification of key project stakeholders comes just after the signage of project charter. After the stakeholder identification process, you will document the stakeholder information in a register. In other words, you will create the stakeholder register once the project charter is signed.
The Stakeholder register is an essential project document that helps to classify, identify and assess the stakeholders of the project. The stakeholder register answers many questions regarding to the stakeholders. Following are some of them;
- What are the names and contact details of the stakeholders ?
- What are the expectations and requirements of the stakeholders ?
- Who are the most critical stakeholders ?
- What are the communication methods to deal with stakeholders ?
- What is the impact level of stakeholders ?
Basically, a stakeholder register is created in the early phases right after the project charter is signed. Stakeholder identification is the first step of creating stakeholder register. Stakeholders can be identified by reviewing past and similar projects records, brainstorming with the project team, meeting with the project sponsor and exploring the vendors involved in the project
The PMBOK Guide recommends below tools for stakeholder classification;
1. Power/interest grid
2. Power/influence grid
3. Influence/impact grid
4. Salience model
Stakeholders are classified according to their power, influence, impact and interest on a project. Also they can be classified according to their urgency, and legitimacy.
Stakeholder Register Example
Typically, a stakeholder register includes below information;
– Role on Project
– Influence (Low/High)
– Impact (Low/High)
A stakeholder register includes columns that address specific questions. It can be customized considering the project requirements. Below figure shows an example for stakeholder register.
Stakeholder registers are important project management documents should be kept updated at throughout the project life cycle. It is a living document which helps the project team to index all project stakeholders. As the project progresses, stakeholders and their influences on the project changes. New stakeholders comes to existence and some stakeholders lose their attention on the project. Also their power and impact on the project changes. In addition to that, Stakeholder register must be a confidential document because it includes so much information about different people and organizations.
Stakeholder management plays a key role for the success of a project. Mismanagement of project stakeholders who have high power and interest may contribute to the projects failure. Therefore project teams must perform timely and carefully stakeholder analysis, classification and prioritization considering the stakeholder’s abilities to affect the project.
It is a good practice to create the register as early as possible. There are various examples and templates available on internet. You can download them, customize for your projects requirements, add columns if needed and use for your project to index the stakeholder information. The proposed template in this article, which shows how the stakeholder register could look like, is also useful for you.
In this article we discuss the importance of stakeholder management and stakeholder register. Note that this is an important topic which should be known from the PMP Certification Exam point of view. You can add or share anything you want by using the comments box below.