The ANSI/PMI Standard PMBOK® Fifth Edition, 2013 includes the new knowledge area "Project Stakeholder Management" which maps over four project process groups with four specific processes. The former Project Communications Management knowledge area of the PMI PMBOK® Fourth Edition remains available but without specific stakeholder’s management processes.
It should be noted that the new PMI PMBOK® Standard defines the project stakeholders as: “Stakeholders include all members of the project team as well as all interested entities that are internal or external to the organization. The project team identifies internal and external, positive and negative, and performing and advising stakeholders in order to determine the project requirements and the expectations of all parties involved”.
As this new edition states: "Project Stakeholder Management includes the processes required to identify the people, groups, or organizations that could impact or be impacted by the project, to analyze stakeholder expectations and their impact on the project, and to develop appropriate management strategies for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and execution".
These processes do not only represent communications management activities but many other project deployment activities distinct from those of communications, thus being necessary to perform a real separate planning, management and control of stakeholder’s implications along a project life cycle. The stakeholder management is performed for meeting the project requirements combined with creating project deliverables compliant to their initial specifications and quality requirements.
The four specific processes of the Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area, are:
PMI PMBOK – Project Stakeholder Management Processes
The project manager has to know their specific characteristics, during which process group should they be applied and which are their specific output management products.
1. Identify Stakeholders - performed during Initiating Process Group.
- Project Team (Project Management Team, Project Manager, Other Project Team Members), - Sponsor – interfacing between Project Team and the rest of Project Stakeholders, - Project Management Office (PMO), Program Manager, Portfolio Manager, Operations Management, Functional Managers, Sellers/Business Partners, Customers/Users, Other stakeholders.
2. Plan Stakeholder Management - performed during Planning Process Group.
Planning the stakeholder management represents an iterative process which should be periodically overviewed by the project manager.
3. Manage Stakeholder Engagement - performed during Executing Process Group.
4. Control Stakeholder Engagement - performed during Monitoring and Controlling Process Group.
- stakeholder notifications with information to stakeholders,
- project presentations for stakeholders,
- feedback from stakeholders concerning project operations, and
- lessons learned documentation about stakeholder management.
In the PMI PMBOK® Fifth Edition, the final section X.1.10 presents the reasons for which the former Project Communications Management knowledge area of the PMI PMBOK® Fourth Edition was split in two different areas, thus resulting the new knowledge area dedicated to Project Stakeholder Management.
Also, section X.1.18 explains why the stakeholder management information was moved to the new knowledge area. In this way, former Project Communications Management knowledge area processes named Identify Stakeholders and, respectively, Manage Stakeholder Expectations were moved to the new knowledge area. The second process was renamed as Manage Stakeholder Engagement. Two new other processes were added, respectively the Plan Stakeholder Management and Control Stakeholder Engagement.
Different process inputs and outputs were renamed and logically adjusted. It was necessary to harmonize the processes with other knowledge area processes and to provide a clear consistency among the respective processes.
The final Glossary of terms and definitions includes the new definitions for the: Plan Stakeholder Management, Project Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Management Plan, and Stakeholder Register.
The Standard ISO 21500:2012 – Guidance on Project Management defines the stakeholder as a “person, group or organization that has interests in, or can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by, any aspect of the project”.
A full chapter is dedicated to the Stakeholder and Project Organization. It is considered that “The project stakeholders, including the project organization, should be described in sufficient detail for the project to be successful. The roles and responsibilities of stakeholders should be defined and communicated based on the organization and project goals”.
The project stakeholder set includes the following main components:
It is emphasized that: “Achievement of consensus among key project stakeholders on the constraints may form a strong foundation for project success”.
The ISO 21500 Standard defines 10 Subject Groups for collecting the processes by subject, similar to the Knowledge Areas of the PMI PMBOK® and 5 Process Groups for the management of the project, similar to the Project Management Process Groups of PMI PMBOK®.
The second Subject Group of the ISO 21500 Standard is the Stakeholder. It “includes the processes required to identify and manage the project sponsor, customers and other stakeholders”. Its intersection with the 5 Process Groups gives only two specific processes:
The project manager has to take care of these two processes appliance and their specific outputs.
ISO 21500 – Project Stakeholder Management Processes
The Identify Stakeholders process determines persons, groups of persons, and organizations which might be affected by the project, or impacting it. Also it is used for documenting the information about their interests and engagement in the project.
This process has as primary inputs the Project Charter and the Project Organization Chart, and gives as primary output the Stakeholder Register. This register is the single specific output product about stakeholders and it is used as primary input to: Define Project Organization process and respectively the Plan Communications process during Planning Process Group. There is not any Stakeholder Management Plan as the one defined in the PMI PMBOK® Fifth edition.
The Manage Stakeholders process is addressed to the understanding and attention activities to be performed for establishing the stakeholders’ needs and expectations, concerns and dealing with their issues. It uses in input the Stakeholder Register and the Project Plans, and gives as primary output the Change Requests.
It should be noted that apart the Plan Communications process, the other two processes of the Communication Subject Group, respectively the Distribute Information and Manage Communications do not use in input the Stakeholder Register.
Both previously mentioned standards are non-prescriptive, they may be applied by any organization type and for any project type, so the project manager may use their statements and recommendations with related details for specific stakeholder management in the organization project management processes. Anyhow, PMI PMBOK® is more comprehensive and more detailed than ISO 21500, especially in extending the processes number, then in explaining and providing appropriate tools and techniques for specific process appliance, their management and control of their output products.
By comparison, the PRINCE2®:2009 Project Management Methodology, as a de facto standard, is prescriptive and it provides a whole integrated framework inside which the PRINCE2® theme named Organization offers a detailed approach for working with stakeholders. Of course, it may be applied by any type of organizations (government, private, etc.) and tailored to any kind of projects, no matter their complexity, scope size, time duration and budget.
PRINCE2® working with stakeholders process deals with three main direction activities:
1. Types of stakeholder, includes two main activities to be performed by the project manager:
2. Stakeholder engagement – a six step procedure to be followed by the project manager:
3. The communication management strategy – describes the ways and frequency of communications, and facilitates the stakeholder engagement by setting up a fully controlled and full-duplex (bi-directional) flow of information.
For the best results, the project manager may combine and use the best practices and specific recommendations and statements from the complementing standards or body of knowledge with the project management methodology integrated framework activities.
Mihail Sadeanu, PhD, PMP, PRINCE2 Practitioner, 6 Sigma Master Black Belt
PRINCE® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office. PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office.
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