Creating a complete Stakeholder Management Plan will enable you to define and document the tasks and strategy related to your project. Your management plan will involve the work we’ve outlined in previous posts: identifying, plotting out, and engaging with your stakeholders.
You start with creating a stakeholder matrix, also known as stakeholder mapping. A stakeholder matrix is a simple and effective project management tool to analyze your stakeholders and to create different strategies for the different groups of stakeholders, ensuring that you meet all the actions needed to align their needs and perspectives with your project goals.
Approach this work holistically, and the benefits will come along. By managing your stakeholders using software, you’re building business intelligence and understanding your own work, and lead to new ideas for developing products and systems that work with the needs of your stakeholders. You’re also then making sure you are protecting your business’s:
- Competitive advantage
- Corporate governance
- Risk management
- Approval within stakeholders’ communities
- Record keeping and reporting
Your stakeholder management plan takes into account many different facets of your stakeholder/project manager relationship, including stakeholder engagement. Those tactics fold into the management plan as one part of the whole system, and you should be taking into account the needs both within and outside your organization.
You can break down your management plan into these segments to track every element, from the way you engage with your stakeholders to the current next steps in your relationship. If you’ve been tracking your engagement with these stakeholders already, this is a great start to organizing those communications:
- Stakeholder / Rights-Holder (use their names here)
- Role (Indigenous groups, land-owner, community member, etc.)
- Interest Level (high interest, casual interest, etc.)
- Expectations (constant communication, detailed reports, etc.)
- Actions Required (write email, approve letter campaign, etc.)
- Communication Required (Email, instant messaging, etc.)
Once we have that management plan figured out, what are we actually doing with it? Make sure to use a robust software-based tool that will help keep everyone involved on the same track.
- Begin this work early to ensure you have your bases covered.
- Be transparent. Be open with your stakeholders about the methods you use, and why you’re including them in the process to build trust.
- Use easy-to-understand terminology throughout your plan so nothing is lost on either stakeholders or your team members.
- Prep for any conflicts that come up. Something is inevitably going to cause a wrinkle. If you are ready for that, you’ll be able to rebound easily.
- Even think about sending elements of your plan directly to key stakeholders. It may seem counterintuitive, but they may alert you to something you overlooked.
Your stakeholder management plan is taking into account all the aspects of stakeholder work: analysis, engagement, and categorization. We are looking forward to introducing you to the StakeTracker Stakeholder Engagement Plan Module in a future post.
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