Join Doug Rose for an in-depth discussion in this video Categorizing the stakeholders, part of Project Management Foundations: Communication.
When you're a project manager you have a lot of people who are interested in your project. These people might be interested in how the project affects them. They'll be interested in some of the decisions you make Then they'll be those who think that the project affects them, but the project really doesn't have anything to do with them. All of these people will be your project's stakeholders. A project stakeholder is someone who has a stake in your project. They believe that the project affects them. This belief might be real or imagined. Your communication plan will have a long list of stakeholders in your stakeholder register.
This is very useful at the beginning of your project. The stakeholder register will be a map of your communication terrain. It's a high level view of whom you need to communicate with on your project. Sometimes your project will have a lot of stakeholders. This is particularly true of large organizations. So this basic map of your project terrain might not be enough for your communication plan. For larger projects, you'll have a stakeholder management plan. This is a more detailed look at how to work with the stakeholders in your project.
It expands on your stakeholder register. The first step in creating your stakeholder management plan is to categorize your stakeholders. When you categorize your stakeholders, you don't want to categorize them as individuals. Instead, you want to categorize them as roles. So think about our healthcare database. There can be a lot of stakeholders in this project. There will be doctors, insurance companies, patients, and administrators. To categorize them you need to identify their rolls.
So you'd not want to use their names. You never want to put Dr. Johnson in your stakeholder register. You also wouldn't want to use companies. You wouldn't want to be ABC Insurance Company in your register. The reason that you want to keep them in their rolls is so that you can simplify their communication needs. All doctors should have similar communication needs likewise all insurance companies should have similar communication needs. Remember that with your communication plan you are trying to streamline all of your communication, so if you put individual names in your stakeholder register then you'll have to know the person or the organization.
You want to lump together as much communication as you can into one group. That way you don't have to send a lot of different updates to different people with different criteria. Someone should have your roles clarified in your stakeholder register You should begin categorizing them based on their communication needs. When you categorize your stakeholders you should use the P3I technique. When you categorize your stakeholders you will use their power, impact, interest, and influence. Power is pretty much what it sounds like.
It's the power that this role has in the organization, so executive management roles usually have a lot of power. Impact is different from power. With many of your projects you might not have direct access to executive management. Instead, you'll be working with someone who is tasked with updating the executives. This person might not have that much power, but they will have a lot of impact on your project. So in many ways, the people who have impact are the ones who have the greatest control over your project. Different stakeholders will have different levels of interest in your project, so you want to categorize your stakeholders based on their interest level.
A stakeholder might have a lot of power but very little interest in your project. The head of human resources might be very powerful in your organization, but they won't have much interest in your database upgrade. Finally, there are your stakeholders who have influence on your project. These are the stakeholders that will guide your project. In our healthcare database they might be the doctors or insurance companies. Each of your stakeholders should be categorized using the P3I technique. So in our healthcare database, administrators might have a lot of power, but they might not have a lot of influence, so they would have different communication needs.
Insurance companies might have a lot of impact, and they might also have a lot of influence, so they might have even greater communication needs. Your new stakeholder register will be much more useful after you categorize your stakeholders. Now you can use it as part of your overall stakeholder management plan.
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- Using formal and informal means to communicate
- Prioritizing stakeholder needs
- Listening actively
- Planning project communication
- Understanding leadership language
- Writing clear and concise project reports
- Learning how and when to say "no"<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.