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Module 27: Stakeholders

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Instructional Objectives:

  • Identify and analyse interests and stakeholders 
  • Develop and maintain a stakeholder strategy and communication plan
  • Engage with the executive, sponsors and higher management to gain commitment and to manage interests and expectations 
  • Engage with end users, partners and suppliers to gain their cooperation and commitment
  • Organise and maintain networks and alliances

STAKEHOLDERS

Integration and control of all activities is described in the competence element Plan and control (Practice 10).  Apart from that, the individual has to identify, prioritise and mitigate the main Risk and opportunity (Practice 11) and to assess, and engage with, Stakeholders (Practice 12).

The Stakeholders (Practice 12) competence element enable the individual to manage stakehoder interests, influence and expectations, and to engage stakeholders and effectively manage their expectations. 

Instructional Objectives:

  • Identify and analyse interests and stakeholders 
  • Develop and maintain a stakeholder strategy and communication plan
  • Engage with the executive, sponsors and higher management to gain commitment and to manage interests and expectations 
  • Engage with end users, partners and suppliers to gain their cooperation and commitment
  • Organise and maintain networks and alliances

Lesson 1 : Identify stakeholders and analyse their
interests and influence

  • Identify the interest groups.
  • Identify and name the different interests.
  • Assess the influence of the stakeholders.
  • Recognize influences arising from the project/programme/portfolio context.
  • Analyze the effect of these on the project/programme/portfolio.
  • Carry out actions to manage the stakeholders.

45min.

Lesson 2 : Develop and maintain a stakeholder strategy and communication plan

  • Describe the importance of the stakeholder strategy.
  • Produce a communication plan and maintain it.
  • Explain any changes.
  • Look for the possibilities to cooperate with other people.

1hr. 10min.

Lesson 3 : Engage with the executive, sponsors and higher management to gain commitment and to manage interests and expectations

  • Involve the sponsor.
  • Involve senior management.
  • Manage senior management’s expectations.
  • Use senior management as ambassadors for your project/programme/ portfolio.

2hrs. 27min.

Chapter 4 : Engage with users, partners and suppliers to gain their cooperation and commitment

  • Involve the users and acquire their support.
  • Acquire the support of the suppliers.
  • Work together to achieve the optimum result.

2hrs 1min.

Chapter 5 : Organise and maintain networks and alliances

  • Document the agreements.
  • Draw up a cooperation plan.
  • Develop criteria in order to measure success.
  • Maintain the agreements.
  • If necessary, conclude the formal contracts.

1hr. 35min.

INTEGRATION AND CONTROL OF ALL ACTIVITIES IS DESCRIBED IN THE COMPETENCE ELEMENT PLAN AND CONTROL (PRACTICE 10).  APART FROM THAT, THE INDIVIDUAL HAS TO IDENTIFY, PRIORITISE AND MITIGATE THE MAIN RISK AND OPPORTUNITY (PRACTICE 11) AND TO ASSESS, AND ENGAGE WITH, STAKEHOLDERS (PRACTICE 12). THE STAKEHOLDERS (PRACTICE 12) COMPETENCE ELEMENT ENABLE THE INDIVIDUAL TO MANAGE STAKEHODER INTERESTS, INFLUENCE AND EXPECTATIONS, AND TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS AND EFFECTIVELY MANAGE THEIR EXPECTATIONS.

When is someone a stakeholder? Strictly speaking, when something is at stake for someone, and because of this, he wants to be able to exert influence. That person does this in order to protect his interests. In practice, there are people that are just interested in the project/programme for what it is, and want to exert their influence on it. It is true to say that they do not have any interests, but they do form a significant factor, and therefore, we sometimes give them the profile: interested parties. This then refers to both the real stakeholders, and the people that just want to exert influence. The number of different interests and stakeholders involved strongly determines the complexity, and the more parties involved, the more complex it is. When there are fewer involved, you can approach all the different parties on an individual basis. As more become involved, however, this can quickly become inefficient, and it is then useful to look at the interest groups. Van Aken1 makes a distinction between the following interested parties: sponsor, project manager, team, internal and external suppliers, users, line management, direct and indirect interest groups and social groupings. You can now develop a strategy for each interest group. It is necessary to identify and analyze all interests, and when prioritizing these, you should look at: • The influence that can be exercised on the execution of the project. • The consequences of the project for the interested parties. As what is at stake for someone increases, the more influence he will want to exert, and the more power someone has, the more influence and effect that person will have on the project. There are different types of interests, and Licht/Nuiver2 classify the following: • Business interests, which can be firmly expressed in terms of money. • Idealistic interests, which are connected to someone’s principles. • The political interest, how the results can influence someone’s position. • Management interests, the necessity of following a consistent course of action. • Loyalty interests, which are linked to personal relationships. • Emotional interests, related to an affinity with, or aversion to, certain themes. You may add cultural interest to this list, especially when operating in a context where parties with different values systems need to cooperate. When the various interested parties and each of their interests have been identified, it is necessary to analyze them all. Their (future) behaviors can be interpreted and deduced from their interests, which can be focused on the result, or on the way in which the project/programme is executed. Try to predict what effect all these interests have on the execution, and develop a strategy to match these. Those involved often have more, and sometimes opposing, interests. The interests of especially the most influential people, play an important role. If you and your team have analyzed these well, you can also anticipate them. When there are many stakeholders, you will spend a lot of time on stakeholder management.

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