Project Management

Develop a Stakeholder Register the Right Way

In every project, there is always a chance that a stakeholder can throw a monkey wrench in and disrupt everything in an unpredictable way. Managing stakeholders requires a bit of administration, which can be made all the easier by using a stakeholder register. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall explains how to get the most out of a stakeholder register.

Checking Out the Register

Hall says that your register should contain the following categories:

  • Stakeholder Name
  • Title
  • Power. Is their power low or high?
  • Influence. Is their influence low or high?
  • Current engagement level. Are stakeholders unaware, resistant, neutral, supportive, or leading?
  • Desired engagement level. What engagement level do you want for each stakeholder—unaware, resistant, neutral, supportive, or leading?
  • Interests. What are their interest and needs?
  • Concerns. What are their concerns?

One of the first things that needs to be done when starting a project is identifying who will be influencing the project and whom will be affected by it. This may be difficult due to the presence of “unknown” stakeholders, who are people you don’t know and are unaware of how much they can impact the project. You find some of these people by just asking around. Look into the vendors, consult subject matter experts, and ask your sponsor if there are any stakeholders that you may not have included. Even lower-level employees, like janitors, may have some insight into who may be affected. Ultimately though, this should be a private list considering it contains sensitive information on a variety of people attached to your project.

Once you’ve gathered which stakeholders will be involved, you can start ranking how much pull they will have. Not all stakeholders have equal pull and investment, so create a power/influence grid to determine who falls where on your list. Some people, like the sponsor, will have incredibly high interest and power over this project.

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