5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 13: Project Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area


1.  Introduction

Stakeholders can, literally, make or break a project, either by their support for a project or by their interference in a project.  The cost of making a change based on a request by a stakeholder goes up throughout the project, so it is important to prevent changes by engaging the stakeholders as early as possible.  That is why Identify Stakeholders is the only other process to be in the Initiating Process Group other than Create Project Charter, meaning that is undertaken even before the formal planning process starts.

Because PMI is placing increasing emphasis on Stakeholder Management, it has elevated it from being just a part of Communications Management to its own knowledge area outright.  This is because communicating with a stakeholder is not enough; you have to influence the stakeholder.  I say “influence” because you will not be in a position with some stakeholders to be a position of authority to coerce them, and have to rely on other forms of “soft power” or influence to be able to get them to do what you want them to do.

2.  Stakeholder Management Processes

There are four project management processes in the Procurement Management Knowledge Area.  One is in Initiating Process Group, process 13.1 Identify Stakeholders.  It is the only process other than 4.1 Create Project Charter to be in that group, which shows its importance and urgency when conducting a project, if it needs to be done even BEFORE planning the project formally starts.

The second one is the Planning Process Group, 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management, which sets up the Stakeholder Management Plan, the guideline for all of the other stakeholder processes.  The third one is in the Executing Process Group, 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement, which takes place throughout the project, and if any adjustments to that engagement are needed in the course of the project, 13.4 Control Stakeholder Management comes into play.

Here is a chart outlining the contents of the four processes devoted to Stakeholder Management:

Process

Group

Process

Number

Process
Name
Process Description
Initiating 13.1 Identify Stakeholders Identifies people, groups, or organizations that could impact or be impacted by a decision, activity, or outcome of the project.  Analyzes and documents their interests in and influence on the project.
Planning 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management Develops appropriate management strategies to effectively engage stakeholders throughout the project.
Executing 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement Communicates and works with stakeholders to meet their needs/expectations, address issues as they occur, and support stakeholder engagement.
Monitoring & Controlling 13.4 Control Stakeholder Engagement Monitors overall project stakeholder relationships, adjusts strategies and plans for engaging stakeholders.

The next post will discuss the inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs of the first process, 13.1 Identify Stakeholders.

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