The business owner or the project sponsor needs to identify the stakeholders during the development of the project charter. Most likely it will be the project manager (PM) if available within the group or will be selected externally.
Stakeholder identification is the process of identifying the people who have an interest in the outcome of the project as well as the project success. Once the stakeholders have been identified they can be inserted in a registry. The registry contains the stakeholder’s information such as name, role, department/section, requirements, etc. This registry is called the Stakeholder Registry.
Once the stakeholders are identified a stakeholder analysis is performed. A tool such as a matrix is used as part of this analysis. There are various matrices that can be used. As an example, you can use a matrix indicating the level of influence the stakeholder has and the importance to the stakeholder for the project to succeed. By completing this exercise the PM will know where the stakeholder fits in the matrix. In return the PM will be able to classify them and manage them accordingly.
It is very important for the PM to ensure that stakeholders with a high level of influence and that the project success is important to them are on board. If not, it can be detrimental to the project success. It is up to the PM to educate or explain the value of the project to those who are not in favor of moving forward with the project.
A stakeholder management strategy should also be developed in order to manage their expectations. Interest of the stakeholders, impact assessment and potential strategy to gain the necessary support or to minimize obstacles are all part of this strategy.
A best practice for the organization is to adopt a stakeholder registry template, and follow a common approach to perform a stakeholder analysis and develop a stakeholder management strategy.
A best practice for the PM is to identify a champion sooner than later. A champion is a stakeholder who has knowledge, experience and is respected by his or her peers. The champion assists or guides the PM throughout the project life cycle.
One more best practice for the PM is to update the project sponsor and the stakeholders on the project charter progress on a regularly basis. This can be done by holding progress status meeting set on specific time intervals e.g. bi-weekly, or monthly. Another method is to send a project status report to the stakeholders electronically on set dates. By doing so, the stakeholders will be informed and you as the PM will have buy-in from the stakeholders and their support throughout the development of the project charter.
A great way to begin !!