6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.4 Monitor Stakeholder Engagement: Inputs


If you look at Table 1-1 on p. 556 of the PMBOK® Guide, you will see a map of all the project management process groups and knowledge areas.

The five process groups in project management are:  initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing.    Of all the ten knowledge areas, stakeholder management has the second largest “spread” in terms of the number of process groups it covers.   It has a process in each of the process groups EXCEPT for closing.   Only the integration knowledge area has a larger spread, with a process in all five process groups.

Process 13.4 is in the monitoring & controlling process group, but it’s not referred to as “control stakeholder engagement.”   Some of the processes in that group are referred to with the term “control”, such as “control scope”, “control schedule”, and “control costs.”   However, when it comes to communications, stakeholders and risk management, the processes in the monitoring & controlling are referred to as “monitor” rather than “control.”   This is because when you are dealing with people (communications and stakeholder management) or events (risk management), you are dealing with factors for the most part outside of your control.    However, at least with people, as opposed to events, you can engage with them and try to influence their behavior.

So in this process, you have Monitor Stakeholder Engagement, which means monitoring the project stakeholder relationships that you have been maintaining in the previous process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement.   The strategies for engaging stakeholders that you have been using up to this point are reviewed, and modified if necessary in this process.

Here are the inputs to this process:

13.4.1  Monitor Stakeholder Engagement:  Inputs

13.4.1.1  Project Management Plan

Of course the most important component of the overall project management plan for this process is the

  • Stakeholder management plan–this gives guidelines and information on how to do all of the other processes in the stakeholder management knowledge area, including this managing and monitoring stakeholder needs and expectations.

The other relevant components that may be inputs to this process are:

  • Resource management plan–for methods for management of team members (yes, team members are considered stakeholders in the project)
  • Communications engagement plan–defines the plans and strategies for communication to the project’s stakeholders.

13.4.1.2  Project Documents

  • Issue log–stakeholder concerns are documented in the issue log, as well as any assigned action items associated with managing the issue.
  • Lessons learned register–as lessons are learned in the course of managing stakeholder engagement, they can be be applied to later phases in the project to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this process.
  • Project communications–communications that have been previous distributed to stakeholders as defined in both the communications and stakeholder management plans.
  • Risk register–identifies risks for the project, including those related to stakeholder engagement.
  • Stakeholder register–provides the list of project stakeholders and any information needed to execute the stakeholder engagement plan.

13.4.1.3  Work Performance Data

In particular, which stakeholders are currently supportive of the project, vs. neutral or resistant.

13.3.1.4  Enterprise Environmental Factors

Among those factors listed on p. 533 of the PMBOK® Guide, the ones that are the most important are:

  • Organizational culture, political climate, and governance structure of the organization
  • Personnel administration policies
  • Stakeholder risk thresholds
  • Established communication channels

13.3.1.5  Organizational Process Assets

Among those assets listed on p. 533 of the PMBOK® Guide, the ones that are the most important are:

  • Corporate policies and procedures for social media
  • Corporate policies and procedures for issue, risk, change and data management
  • Organizational communications requirements

With these inputs, we can now use the tools and techniques of this process, which are covered in the next post.

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6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement: Outputs


Okay, so you’ve been engaging the stakeholders with the tools and techniques of this process outlined in the last post.   The key result of this process will be change requests that the stakeholders make, usually to the project or product scope.    If these change requests are accepted, then these changes will require updates to the project management plan as well as to some key project documents.

All of these outputs are the subject of this post.

13.3.3  Manage Stakeholder Engagement:  Outputs

13.3.3.1  Change Requests

After engaging with stakeholders who may be resistant to the project, it is possible that they may suggest a change in the scope of the project or the product that the project is intended to create.   Of course, even those who are neutral or supportive of a project may come up with an idea to improve the project or product and these changes, too, should be considered.

Another suggestion for a change might be with the process of stakeholder engagement itself, namely, a request to receive information more frequently and/or in a different form than currently received.   These changes are also considered.

As with all change requests, they are reviewed in the process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control.   Once they are reviewed by the change control board or whatever mechanism your project has in place to review such changes, then the approved changes are made to the project management plan and key project documents (see next two paragraphs).

13.3.3.2  Project Management Plan

If the change requests mentioned in the last paragraph are approved, they may end up creating changes to the project scope, in which case they might change the scope baseline (see project documents updates paragraph below).   If they are changes to the process of stakeholder engagement itself, however, they might require updates to the following two components of the project management plan.

  • Communications management plan–new or changed stakeholder requirements for communication may require updating this plan.
  • Stakeholder engagement plan–if in the course of this process, new or changed management strategies are developed to effectively engage stakeholders, then these are updated in this plan.

Although not listed in the PMBOK® Guide explicitly, the fact that the Guide mentions that many of the change requests from stakeholders will be to the project and/or project scope, another important component  of the project management plan that may be updated as a result of this process is the following:

  • Scope baseline–this consists of the project scope statement (where the requirements are broken down into the level of deliverables that fulfill these requirements), and the WBS and WBS dictionary (which further break down these deliverables to the operational level of work packages)

13.3.3.3  Project Document Updates

  • Change log–any change requests may be made to the change log.   This is important because if a stakeholder makes a change request and it is not accepted by the change control board, it will be important to communicate the reasons for that decision to that stakeholder.
  • Issue log–if an issue is brought up by a stakeholder, or if there are recent developments related to an issue brought up earlier by a stakeholder, then this is added to the issue log.
  • Lessons learned register–if effective approaches to managing stakeholder engagement are discovered in the course of this process, these are added to the register.   Likewise ineffective approaches are mentioned so that they may be discontinued.  In either case, this information can be used in later stages of the current project.
  • Stakeholder register–new information provided to stakeholders is added to the stakeholder register with regard to the following:
    • Resolved issues (see paragraph on “issue log” above)
    • Changes approved or not approved (see paragraph on “change log” above)
    • General project status

Every once and a while, it is important to take a step back and monitor the project stakeholder relationships and tailor your strategies to improve the engagement level with those stakeholders.   That is the purpose of the final process in this knowledge area, process 13.4 Monitor Stakeholder Engagement which is part of the monitoring and controlling process group.   We will cover the inputs to this process in the next post.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement: Tools and Techniques


This post covers the tools and techniques you use to manage stakeholder engagement.   Remember that in the Stakeholder Engagement plan, you create a stakeholder engagement assessment matrix which shows the current level of level of engagement of each stakeholder and the desired level of engagement.   The purpose of this process is to perform actions which move the current level of engagement towards the desired level.

13.3.1  Manage Stakeholder Engagement:   Tools and Techniques

13.3.2.1  Expert Judgment

You should consider expertise from individuals with specialized knowledge about:

  • Politics and power structures in the organization and outside the organization
  • Analytical and assessment techniques to be used for stakeholder engagement processes (especially the stakeholder engagement assessment matrix)
  • Communications means and strategies
  • Knowledge from previous projects regarding individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups that were involved in previous similar projects
  • Requirements management, vendor management, and change management.

13.3.2.2  Communication Skills

The stakeholder engagement management plan should contain the communications that are planned between the project team and the stakeholders.   These forms of communication can include:

  • Conversations
  • Issue identification and discussion
  • Meetings
  • Progress reporting
  • Surveys

13.3.2.3   Interpersonal and Team Skills

The interpersonal and team skills that can be used for this process include

  • Conflict management
  • Cultural awareness
  • Negotiation
  • Observation/conversation
  • Political awareness

13.3.2.4  Ground Rules

The team charter should not only define the ground rules for expected behavior between project team members, but also for expected behavior when engaging stakeholders.

13.3.2.5  Meetings

Project team meetings are used to discuss issues or concerns regarding stakeholder engagement.   The types of meetings that are beneficial for this process include:

  • Project kick-off
  • Sprint planning
  • Decision making
  • Issue resolution
  • Lessons learned and retrospectives
  • Status updates

The next post will cover the outputs to this process.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement: Inputs


Now that the plan for stakeholder engagement has been completed in the last process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement, it is time to execute that plan.   In this process, you manage stakeholder engagement throughout the course of the project.

13.3.1  Manage Stakeholder Engagement:  Inputs

13.3.1.1  Project Management Plan

Of course the component of the project management plan used as the main input for this process is:

  • Stakeholder management plan–this provides guidelines and information on all stakeholder engagement processes, including this one of managing stakeholder expectations.
  • Communications management plan–describes methods, formats, and technologies to be used for stakeholder communication
  • Risk management plan–describes the risk categories, risk appetites, and reporting formats that can be used to manage stakeholder engagement.
  • Change management plan–describes the process for submitting, evaluating and implementing changes to the project.

13.3.1.2  Project Documents

  • Change log–change requests are communicated to the appropriate stakeholders.
  • Issue log–stakeholder concerns are documented in the issue log, as well as any assigned action items associated with managing the issue.
  • Lessons learned register–as lessons are learned in the course of managing stakeholder engagement, they can be be applied to later phases in the project to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this process.
  • Stakeholder register–provides the list of project stakeholders and any information needed to execute the stakeholder engagement plan.

13.3.1.3  Enterprise Environmental Factors

Among those factors listed on p. 526 of the PMBOK® Guide, the ones that are the most important are:

  • Organizational culture, political climate, and governance structure of the organization
  • Personnel administration policies
  • Stakeholder risk thresholds
  • Established communication channels

13.3.1.4  Organizational Process Assets

Among those assets listed on p. 526 of the PMBOK® Guide, the ones that are the most important are:

  • Corporate policies and procedures for social media
  • Corporate policies and procedures for issue, risk, change and data management
  • Organizational communications requirements

The next will cover the tools and techniques of this process.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement: Outputs


This is probably one of the simplest posts I’ve done in a long while.   I’m covering the outputs for the process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement, and there’s only one, which shouldn’t be surprising given the title of the process.   Notice, however, that most knowledge areas have a process called Plan X Management, where “X” is the name of the knowledge area.   In the case of stakeholders, however, PMI feels best to refer to this process as stakeholder engagement rather than stakeholder management.   This is perhaps because some of your stakeholders will be upper management and it would be presumptuous of you as a project manager to try to “manage” them.   Engaging, them, however, is okay.

13.2.3  Plan Stakeholder Engagement:  Outputs

13.2.3.1 Stakeholder Engagement Plan

This identifies the strategies and actions required to promote productive involvement of stakeholders in the decision making process and the execution of the project plan.   The stakeholder engagement plan may include specific strategies or approaches for engaging with individual stakeholders or groups of stakeholders.   The stakeholder register is the main focus of this plan.

The next process is the executing process group, “Manage Stakeholder Engagement.”  (Here it is the engagement you are managing, not the stakeholders themselves.)     I will start with the inputs to that process.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management: Tools and Techniques


As with other planning processes, there are “generic” tools and techniques that are used in practically all knowledge areas, such as expert judgment, decision making, and meetings.   You talk to the people who know about your knowledge area, you get together with your project team in meetings, and you make decisions about what goes in the management plan.

Now there are some techniques which are specific to this particular knowledge area, the most important of which is the stakeholder engagement assessment matrix, which together with the stakeholder register will be the workhorse of not just this process, but all other processes in this area.

13.2.2  Plan Stakeholder Management:  Tools and Techniques

13.2.2.1  Expert Judgment

You should consider expertise from individuals with specialized knowledge about:

  • Politics and power structures in the organization and outside the organization
  • Analytical and assessment techniques to be used for stakeholder engagement processes (especially the stakeholder engagement assessment matrix)
  • Communications means and strategies
  • Knowledge from previous projects regarding individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups that were involved in previous similar projects.

13.2.2.2.  Data Gathering

Benchmarking is a data gathering technique which compares the results of stakeholder analysis in the other tools and techniques for this process and compares them with information from other organizations.

13.2.2.3  Data Analysis

Data analysis techniques used for this process include:

  • Assumption and constraint analysis–analysis of current assumptions and constraints may be conducted in order to tailor appropriate engagement strategies.
  • Root-cause analysis–identifies underlying reasons for the current level of support of project stakeholders in order to select the appropriate strategy to improve their level of engagement.

13.2.2.4  Decision Making

Prioritization and ranking of stakeholder requirements is important, as is the ranking of the stakeholder themselves.   Those stakeholders with the most interest (those impacted by the project) and the highest influence (those who can impact the project) are often prioritized at the top of the list.

13.2.2.5  Data Representation

These are used to aid in data analysis and decision making (see the previous two paragraphs).

  • Mind mapping–visually organizes information about stakeholders, their relationship to the project, to each other, and to the organization doing the project.
  • Stakeholder engagement assessment matrix.   This supports comparison between the current engagement levels of stakeholders and the desired engagement levels required for successful project delivery.   Here is one way of classifying stakeholders:
    • Unaware–unaware of the project and potential impacts:  obviously you want to make these stakeholders aware, which means then they will turn into one of the following four classifications
    • Resistant–aware of the project, and resistant to any changes that may occur as a result of the work or outcomes of the project.  These stakeholders will be un-supportive of the work or outcomes of the project.   They might turn neutral or even supportive if you are able to address their concerns, which may involve changes to the project that mitigate the impact it will have on them and their department.
    • Neutral–aware of the project, but neither supportive nor nonsupportive, usually because it doesn’t affect them.  With these stakeholders, it is important to monitor if their position in the organization changes, because that may change their position with regards to your project.
    • Supportive–aware of the project, and supportive of the work and its outcomes.
    • Leading–aware of the project, and actively engaged in ensuring that the project is a success.   This last group is a separate one from “supportive” because the leading stakeholders can help you evangelizing to the rest of the organization.   In addition, if they are members of senior management, they will be the ones to do the heavy lifting in terms of communication with other members of senior management who are resistant to the project, mainly because they influence over those members where you as a project manager do not.   It should go without saying that you should always have at least one leading stakeholder on every project, namely, the project sponsor.

An example of the matrix is given on p. 522 of the PMBOK Guide.   Basically there is one line for every stakeholder, and the currently level of engagement (unaware, resistant, neutral, supportive, and leading) is listed as well as the desired level.

NOTE:   The stakeholder engagement assessment matrix is confidential to be used by the project team.   You can share information with the stakeholders, but not the matrix!

13.2.2.6  Meetings

As mentioned above, this is a generic tool and technique of ALL planning processes, because it is definitely an activity that the whole project team needs to be involved with because of its important for the success of the project.

With those tools and techniques, you can now produce the output of this process, namely the stakeholder management plan.  This is the subject of the next post.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management: Inputs


The Plan Stakeholder Management process has its aim the production of the Stakeholder Management Plan.   Like the management plans for other knowledge areas, it contains the guidelines for how to do all of the other processes in the area, such as Manage Stakeholder Engagement and Monitor Stakeholder Engagement.

Here are the inputs:

13.2.1  Plan Stakeholder Engagement:  Inputs

13.2.1.1  Project Charter

The project purpose, objectives, and success criteria can be used in planning how to engage stakeholders.

13.2.1.2  Project Management Plan

Here are the components of the overall project management plan that can be used for this process.

  • Resource management plan–may contain information regarding roles and responsibilities of the team and other stakeholders listed in the stakeholder register.
  • Communications management plan–the communication strategies for stakeholder management and their implementation plans are input to this process
  • Risk management plan–may contain risk thresholds or risk attitudes that can assist in the selection of the optimal stakeholder engagement strategy.

13.2.3 Project Documents

  • Assumption log–contains information about assumptions and constraints that may be linked to specific stakeholders.  ]
  • Change log–changes to the original scope of the project are usually linked to specific stakeholders who are requesting those changes, or who are involved in the decision about change requests.
  • Issue log–resolving issues contained in the issue log will require additional communications with the stakeholders affected.
  • Project schedule–contains activities that may be linked to specific stakeholder as owners or executors
  • Risk register–contains identified risks of the project and links them to specific stakeholders either as risk owners or as subject to impact from that risk.
  • Stakeholder register–the output of process 13.1 Identify Stakeholders.   The preliminary list of project stakeholders, including additional data about their classification.

13.2.1.4  Agreements

When planning for the engagement of contractors and suppliers (who are one subset of stakeholders), coordination usually involves working with the procurement/contracting group in the organization to ensure contractors and suppliers are effectively managed.

13.2.1.5  Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Organizational culture, political climate, governance framework
  • Personnel administration policies
  • Stakeholder risk appetites
  • Established communication channels
  • Global, regional or local trends
  • Geographical distribution of facilities and resources.

13.2.1.6 Organizational Process Assets

Among the OPAs listed on p. 520 of the PMBOK Guide, here are the ones that I feel are the most relevant to this process.

  • Corporate policies and procedures for social media.
  • Corporate policies and procedures for issue, risk, change, and data management.
  • Lessons learned repository with information about the preferences, actions, and involvement of stakeholders

The next post covers the tools and techniques of this process.