The Complete Guide to Stakeholder Management

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Successful projects person enactment from stakeholders crossed the organization. That’s wherefore stakeholder absorption is indispensable for immoderate initiative.

stakeholder absorption gathering successful an office

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Stakeholder absorption allows you to place and conscionable leaders’ needs portion keeping connection open.

In this article, you’ll larn what stakeholder absorption is, wherefore it's important, and however to make a stakeholder absorption plan.

Table of Contents

  • What is stakeholder management?
  • Why is stakeholder absorption important?
  • Benefits of Stakeholder Management
  • Inside the Stakeholder Management Process
  • Tips for Stakeholder Management

What is stakeholder management?

Stakeholder absorption is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing the interests and needs of stakeholders. An effectual stakeholder absorption strategy should beryllium backed by information and overgarment a wide representation of everyone involved.

Why is stakeholder absorption important?

Projects neglect erstwhile the interests and needs of stakeholders are ignored. This leads to a deficiency of buy-in from cardinal stakeholders, which tin jeopardize the occurrence of the project.

When stakeholders consciousness their needs are being met, they're much apt to enactment the project. On the different hand, if their needs are not met, they whitethorn effort to artifact your initiative. Stakeholder absorption helps physique affirmative relationships that support your task moving smoothly.

An effectual stakeholder absorption strategy tin assistance you:

  • Avoid oregon resoluteness conflicts betwixt stakeholders.
  • Secure buy-in and enactment from cardinal stakeholders.
  • Communicate efficaciously with stakeholders.
  • Manage expectations of stakeholders.
  • Monitor stakeholder engagement passim the project.

Benefits of Stakeholder Management

There are galore benefits of an effectual stakeholder absorption strategy, including:

  • Improved communication. By identifying the interests and needs of stakeholders, you tin tailor your communications to their circumstantial needs. This ensures that your messages are received and understood.
  • Increased buy-in. According to KPMG, 61% of projects person highly progressive sponsors. When stakeholders consciousness their interests and needs are being considered, they're much apt to enactment the project.
  • Reduced risks. By engaging with stakeholders, you tin place imaginable risks aboriginal and instrumentality steps to debar oregon mitigate them. This tin assistance trim the wide hazard of the project.
  • Improved performance. An effectual stakeholder absorption strategy tin assistance you optimize resources and align task activities with stakeholder interests. This tin pb to improved task performance.

Inside the Stakeholder Management Process

stakeholder management, the step-by-step guide

While stakeholder absorption whitethorn look intuitive for some, you tin commencement gathering spot systematically with a much ceremonial roadmap.

The pursuing six steps tin assistance you recognize stakeholder priorities and however you tin code these needs.

1. Identify stakeholders.

Stary by identifying all the individuals and groups who tin interaction your project, some positively and negatively. This includes interior stakeholders (such arsenic squad members) and outer stakeholders (such arsenic customers oregon suppliers).

To place your stakeholders, inquire yourself the pursuing questions.

  • Who volition beryllium impacted by your project?
  • Who has an involvement successful your project?
  • Who has the powerfulness to power your project?
  • Who wants your task to fail?
  • Who wants your task to beryllium successful?

2. Prioritize stakeholders.

After you've identified each your stakeholders, the adjacent measurement is prioritization. This volition assistance you absorption your attraction connected the stakeholders astir important to your project's success.

You should place wherever their expectations lie, their level of influence, what accusation they volition privation from you, and however often they privation reporting from your team. You tin usage stakeholder mapping to assistance you prioritize cardinal leaders.

Run a Stakeholder Mapping Exercise

stakeholder mapping, stakeholder absorption process

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The supra stakeholder mapping workout asks you to crippled leaders connected a two-by-two grid. One axis is labeled powerfulness and the different interest.

On the powerfulness axis, you complaint each stakeholder connected their quality to power the project. On the involvement axis, you complaint each stakeholder connected their level of involvement successful the project. This volition springiness you a wide representation of which stakeholders are the astir important to prosecute with and however champion to bash so.

There are respective antithetic ways to representation stakeholders, including:

  • RACI matrix. This is simply a fashionable stakeholder mapping method that uses the letters R (responsible), A (accountable), C (consulted), and I (informed) to complaint stakeholders connected their level of engagement successful the project.
  • Power/interest grid. This is simply a elemental mode to representation stakeholders that tin beryllium utilized to prioritize engagement. It is besides known arsenic the Salience model.
  • Influence/impact matrix. This is simply a much elaborate stakeholder mapping method that tin beryllium utilized to measure the imaginable interaction of each stakeholder connected the project.

3. Assess stakeholder needs and interests.

The cardinal to a palmy stakeholder absorption program is knowing your stakeholders. This volition assistance you measure what they privation from the task and however champion to prosecute with them.

At this stage, inquire yourself the pursuing questions.

  • Do you recognize their needs, priorities, and issues?
  • Do they person the powerfulness to power the project?
  • What fiscal oregon affectional involvement bash they person successful the result of the project?
  • What motivates them?

By knowing the answers to these questions, you tin amended make a stakeholder absorption program that fits each leader.

4. Define stakeholder motives.

Once you've identified and assessed your stakeholders, you tin statesman to specify their motives. This volition assistance you recognize what they privation from the task and however champion to prosecute with them.

There are respective ways you tin specify stakeholder motives, including:

  • Interviews. You tin interrogation stakeholders to get their views connected the project. This tin beryllium done successful person, implicit the phone, oregon via email.
  • Surveys. You tin nonstop retired surveys to stakeholders to get their feedback connected the project. This is simply a speedy mode to stitchery information from a ample fig of stakeholders.
  • Focus groups. You tin clasp focus groups with stakeholders to get their input connected the project. This tin beryllium utilized to make ideas and place issues.

By knowing stakeholder motives, you tin make an effectual stakeholder absorption program that meets their needs and interests.

5. Develop a program for engagement.

The extremity of stakeholder engagement is to negociate expectations and physique relationships. This tin beryllium done done respective antithetic methods, including:

  • Frequent communication. This is the astir important facet of stakeholder engagement. You indispensable regularly pass with stakeholders to update them connected the task and get feedback. This tin beryllium done done face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, emails, oregon online tools similar a project absorption software. Each stakeholder whitethorn request their ain connection strategy.
  • Consultation. This involves consulting stakeholders successful decision-making. This tin beryllium done done meetings, surveys, oregon absorption groups.
  • Collaboration. This involves moving with stakeholders to implicit tasks oregon execute objectives. This tin beryllium done done co-creation, associated planning, oregon shared decision-making.

The champion mode to prosecute with assorted leaders volition beryllium connected the stakeholder and the project. You should tailor your engagement program to each individual.

Stakeholder Management Plan Templates

After you’ve identified stakeholders, it’s clip to make absorption plans for each group.

The beneath templates tin assistance you make engagement plans and signifier your stakeholder communication.


stakeholder absorption program template, Asana

If you’re caller to stakeholder management, this template from Asana offers a elemental mode to enactment organized. In this plan, you constitute down each stakeholder, their level of involvement successful your project, and however influential they are to your work.

Then, you tin cheque a container to place their connection preferences. That includes however often they privation to perceive from your squad and however they privation you to get successful touch.

What we love: With this template, you cognize which of your leaders similar a speedy Slack versus a ceremonial email astatine a glance.

Project Management Docs

stakeholder absorption example, task absorption docs

If you’re looking for a much elaborate engagement plan, see this enactment from Project Management Docs. With this document, you tin afloat laic retired the imaginativeness of your task and which departments your inaugural volition affect.

What we love: This template includes charts and tables that you tin usage to find each stakeholder's level of value to your project. You tin usage this papers to brainstorm and outline your last draft.


stakeholder absorption program template, Knowledgehut

If you’re looking for a implicit usher to penning an engagement plan, KnowledgeHut is present to help. This template includes sections that assistance you place stakeholders and make a timeline for each person’s involvement. You tin besides support way of costs and quality resources involvement.

What we love: This template features charts that you tin capable retired with stakeholder data. If you get stuck, each conception comes with adjuvant questions for self-reflection to usher you on the way.


stakeholder absorption example, p.m. training

If you’ve been searching for a elemental spreadsheet to negociate your stakeholders, look nary further. This template from PMTraining offers a straightforward attack to managing stakeholders.

What we love: This template lays retired who is involved, what they request to bash for your project, and however you program to support them engaged. If you’re looking for a speedy mode to make a one-page stakeholder absorption guide, this is it. Plus, everything tin beryllium edited successful Google Docs.

Tips for Stakeholder Management

Formalizing stakeholder absorption tin consciousness similar an overwhelming process. Whether you’re conscionable getting started oregon person years of experience, the pursuing tips tin assistance you guarantee palmy stakeholder management.

1. Define the intent of the project.

According to PMI, 44% of projects fail due to the fact that of a deficiency of alignment betwixt concern and task objectives.

Before you statesman engaging with stakeholders, it is important to specify the intent of the project. This volition assistance you place who you request to prosecute with and their objectives.

2. Define roles and responsibilities.

At the commencement of a project, intelligibly specify each stakeholder's roles and responsibilities. This volition assistance guarantee that everyone is wide connected their engagement successful the project.

3. Communicate regularly.

Regular connection is indispensable for palmy stakeholder management. You should update stakeholders connected the task regularly and solicit their feedback.

Your strategical objectives should ever beryllium wide successful stakeholder communication. This allows your squad to negociate stakeholder expectations and make affirmative relationships.

4. Be transparent.

It is important to beryllium transparent with stakeholders astir the project. This volition assistance physique spot and guarantee everyone is connected the aforesaid page.

5. Seek feedback.

Feedback is indispensable for palmy stakeholder management. You should question feedback from stakeholders astatine each signifier of the project.

Keep way of their suggestions and instrumentality their insights. You tin past study backmost connected however you implemented their solutions to further summation their support.

6. Choose the close software.

Today, lone one successful 4 teams uses a task absorption software. Implementing 1 of these tools tin assistance you support organized.

That ranges from task absorption software, similar Basecamp oregon Asana, to collaboration software, similar Google Drive oregon Trello. Choose a tech stack that champion fits the needs of your project.

7. Be flexible.

Stakeholder absorption is not a one-size-fits-all process. You should beryllium flexible and tailor your attack to each idiosyncratic you enactment with.

Create an Effective Stakeholder Management Plan

Stakeholders clasp the powerfulness to power your project, truthful engaging leaders portion keeping their needs astatine the forefront volition assistance support things moving smoothly.

Keep these tips successful caput arsenic you make your stakeholder absorption strategy to enactment connected track.

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