According to the PMBOK Guide, a stakeholder can be a person, a group, or an organization that may be affected, impacted or have any interest in the project, or in the project’s outcome, either directly or indirectly.
As a project manager, you have to identify all these stakeholders and manage them according to their requirements. Once the project charter is signed, your first job is to identify your project’s stakeholders.
After identifying stakeholders, you will record this information in a stakeholder register.
A stakeholder register is a project management document which contains the information about the project’s stakeholders. It identifies the people, groups, and organizations that have any kind of interest or involvement in your project. In this register, you can find their names, titles, roles, interests, power, requirements, expectations, and type of influence, etc.
You should create the stakeholder register as soon as the project charter is signed. Doing so in the early stage of the project will help you complete the project with minimum hassle. Once you create the stakeholder register and list all identified stakeholders in it, you can easily draft a strategy to manage them.
Content of the Stakeholder Register
Usually, the stakeholder register contains the following three types of information about each stakeholder:
- Stakeholder Identification
- Stakeholder Assessment
- Stakeholder Classification
The stakeholder register may also contain the stakeholder management strategy.
In this section, you will note down the following information:
- Contact information
- Role in the project/organization
Here you will record your assessment of each stakeholder, such as:
- The stakeholder’s requirements
- Communication needs
- Communication frequency
- Influence on the project
- Interest and power
Here you will classify the stakeholders based on various criteria.
You may divide them based on their power and interest on the project, i.e. whether it is high, medium or low.
You can also assign other attributes to stakeholders, such as whether a stakeholder is internal, external, positive, a supporter, a resistor or a neutral stakeholder, etc.
Stakeholder Management Strategy
After completing the assessment you can draft the stakeholders management strategy. This strategy will help you deal with your stakeholders according to their requirements, influence, and interest in the project.
Please note that this information may not be shown to all team members; therefore, it will be in the best interest of your project if you keep the stakeholder register in a secure place and limit its access.
You have to keep your stakeholder register updated at all times throughout the project life cycle. As the project progresses you will identify new stakeholders, and will have to update your stakeholder register with this information.
Moreover, during the project life cycle, any one stakeholder’s interest or power could change. In this case, you will have to update your register to reflect the change.
Before concluding the post, let’s revisit some key points:
- A stakeholder is a person, group or entity who has any kind of interest in your project.
- A stakeholder register is a project management document that contains the name of your stakeholders and every detail about them.
- The stakeholder register must be updated when any new stakeholder is identified or any change is observed in stakeholder attributes.
- This document may contain some sensitive information; therefore, its access should be limited.
The stakeholder register is the first document you will create after the project charter is signed. As stakeholder identification is a continuous process, you will have to keep updating this document throughout the project life cycle. Since this register contains names, emails, stakeholders’ classification, and the strategies to manage them, it may not be shown to everybody. You should keep the document in a secure place and restrict its access.