Stakeholders are the demi-gods if you will, that make the project possible. They have the power to pull off or pull out the project. They want something, and as a project manager our job is to make sure that their business interests are taken care of. That is to say, not only deliver the project outcome as per documented (or changed but approved) requirements, but also make sure they get the required information, when needed, how it is needed, and in the format that is agreeable to them.
So, it goes without saying that Communication with stakeholders should be the biggest area of concern to the project manager. As the project progresses things will slip from the plan and may create reasons for some stakeholders to be unhappy. These are unavoidable things, and happen at times. But if we have done our groundwork about stakeholders properly, we should be able to manage such instances, and possibly come out garnering more support from these very stakeholders.
What do we need to make sure stakeholders stay happy?
Of course. This is the holy grail we carry all the time. Project baseline data (such as cost, schedule, scope) comes from project management plan. PMB or Performance measurement baseline is an integrated baseline containing performance against project objectives cost, schedule and scope. These are the reference points against which actual performance is measured to generate performance reports.
All issues on stakeholder relationship are logged here. This log may also contain name of person responsible for resolving the issue, resolve-by-date, and communication details.
How is the project performing?
These are all the raw data about project performance and status captured during various controlling processes.
Such as schedule, issue log, change log, stakeholder register, and communications are referred for maintaining good stakeholder relationship.
How do we do it?
Information management systems
This is your organization’s communication system used to capture, analyze, synthesize, report and communicate information with all stakeholders. All relevant information such as project status, cost status, schedule progress, change requests and such are sent to relevant stakeholders using this system. Reports can be textual, graphical, tabular or even in the form of presentation.
Our expert judgment and meetings with the right people
Since stakeholders are people at various levels of power and positions of influence you would need help from people with knowledge in dealing with them.
What can we expect?
These are the preventive or corrective actions identified whenever issues are discovered. All controlling processes may generate change requests.
And some more
During this project management activity, stakeholder management strategy might be updated in stakeholder management plan. In some cases changes in other subsidiary plans or baselines may be discovered. For instance, a communication issue may be traced to the fact that some requirement was missed from schedule. Thus, schedule baseline might need to be updated, of course by taking it through change control process.
Since this is a controlling activity, the stakeholder register may be updated with information specific to identified stakeholders or when new stakeholders are identified. Also, the issue log is another document that most certainly gets updated as issues are discovered.
Many assets such as stakeholder notifications, presentations such as proposals, stakeholder feedback, lessons learned are updated in the knowledge base for the use of future projects in the organization.