Stakeholder analysis and management have become a key, central activity in project management. Organisations that manage their stakeholder relationships effectively will survive longer and perform better than organisations that don't.
However, as is usual in the project management discipline, the focus is on strategies, tools and techniques and the inputs and outputs that inform and result from them.
This approach misses some of the richness of what a stakeholder management perspective can teach us. It needs a broader perspective. This blog is asserting importance of Stakeholder Analysis.
Stakeholder Analysis: Nuanced Aspects of Stakeholder Dynamics
Power - so that we don’t only pay attention to those who shout loudest or confuse who is at the top of the hierarchy with who should be at the top.
Difference - different stakeholders have fundamentally different interests through self-interests which may not be reconcilable.
Complexity - sometimes, we may not even be aware that we are a stakeholder until something goes wrong.
Interconnection - in a global world, everything has the potential to affect everything else. A flutter in the savings and loan banks in the midwest of the US affects the wealth of Irish citizens.
Relationships - emotional intelligence is as important as logic to Change (stuff happens).
Conflict - idealised views of organisation don’t address the reality where difference, power, complexity, and interconnection threaten relationships and trust.
Entitlement to being considered and having their needs addressed, often they don’t take on personal or organisational.
Responsibility for contributing as well as expecting.
If project management is truly to benefit from this essential management way of thinking, then understanding, reflecting upon and practising a wider concept of stakeholder management than is sometimes envisaged in simple management tools and techniques is required.
Stakeholder Management Training in Project Management
The Stakeholder Management and Communications course's primary focus is on analysing stakeholders, which is key to the project's success. This course educates you about proper communication, as it is a necessary skill for project management. Additionally, because every project needs stakeholder's support, you can use the knowledge you gather from this course to understand better what stakeholders expect from the project and choose a way of communication that results in an agreement, not misunderstanding and conflict.
In conclusion, Stakeholder analysis is crucial in project management. A broader perspective, including power dynamics, differences, and interconnections, is vital for success. Stakeholder Management Training offers essential insights for effective communication and project support.
About the Author
Sebastian Green is an Emeritus Professor of Management at University College Cork and a Senior Faculty Member at IPM. He was formerly the Executive Dean of Commerce, MBA Director and Head of the Department of Management and Marketing at UCC.