PM Essence
Project Stakeholder Management

- M. S. Hiremath, PMP

Project Stakeholder Management is added as a 10th knowledge area in the 5th edition of PMBOK.

It has four processes:

Identify stakeholders - The process of identifying the people, groups or organizations that could impact or be impacted by a decision, activity or outcome of the project, and analyzing and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement, inter dependencies, influence and potential impact on project success.

Plan stakeholder management - The process of developing appropriate management strategies to effectively engage stakeholders throughout the project life cycle, based on the analysis of their needs, interests, and potential impact on project success.

Manage stakeholder engagement - The process of communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs, interests, and potential impact on project success.

Control stakeholder engagement - The process of monitoring overall project stakeholder relationships and adjusting strategies and plans for engaging stakeholders.

The output of the process “Identify stakeholders” is Stakeholder Register, where the following information is recorded:

a) Identification information
b) Assessment information
c) Stake holder classification

For assessment information we have to record stakeholder’s major requirements, main expectations, and potential influence in the project and the phases in the project life cycle with most interest.

Here we can use Maslow's theory.

We all know Maslow’s Hierarchy has five levels.
Level 1: Basic needs.
Level 2: Safety needs.
Level 3: Social needs.
Level 4: Self-esteem needs
Level 5: Self-actualization.
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Depending on where a particular stakeholder is in Maslow's diagram, we can broadly determine his/her requirements. This will be the key input to the stakeholder register. Identifying the stake holder's position in the Maslow's diagram, facilitates good working relationship with the stakeholder. We can map the power v/s interest grid to Maslow's diagram, to get a comprehensive idea of the stakeholders. For example the quadrant “B” is known as plug pullers area. The stake holders in this group may be at any level in the Maslow's diagram.

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In case a particular stakeholder is at “basic level”, we can engage him/her by discussing basic needs and monitor closely, so that he/she will not pull the plug. Maslow's theory also helps for managing and controlling stakeholder engagement.