Key Stakeholder Power and Management

Posted by in Exam Prep, Project Management

Key Stakeholder Power and Management

King’s full quote: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

In the article, the memorial’s executive architect, Ed Jackson Jr. explains “I’m the guy that’s making the decisions,” Jackson said. “I informed them of what I was doing. I didn’t ask them for permission, or whether or not they agreed.”

Fortunately, the poorly paraphrased quotation will be replaced with the full quotation, but the situation shows the importance of identifying and communicating with key stakeholders.

Stakeholders are persons or organizations (e.g., customers, sponsors, the performing organization of the public), who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the performance or completion of the project. (PMBOK, page 23)

Key stakeholders can make or break the success of a project. When meeting with stakeholders, you should keep notes that estimate their influence and their interest in the project, and specifies their overall goals, and their objections to the project.

Once you have organized information about stakeholders, you easily identify stakeholders on the basis of their power and interest in the project. Broadly speaking, stakeholders can be organized into four groups:

High Influence, High Interest Stakeholder has a lot of influence, and is very interested in the project. It is vital to understand the viewpoints of these individuals, and what potential objections they might raise.
Low Influence, High Interest Stakeholder has a lot of interest, but little real influence. If they are in favor of your project they can be valuable resources. They can get you access to relevant documents, provide you history information, and help you identify the institutional challenges to the project.
Low Influence, Low Interest Stakeholder has little influence and little interest in the project.
High Influence, Low Interest Stakeholder has a lot of power, but low interest need to be broadly satisfied. The goal of your interactions with this type of stakeholder should be to give them enough information about the project that they will not create obstacles for your project.