A colleague of mine recently commented to me about the challenge of creating a management plan for a large group of stakeholders. I found this a very interesting situation, so I decided to share my suggestion here on this blog, because others may have the same question in mind.
A stakeholder management plan combines various elements, among them the definition, identification and analysis of the project or programme stakeholders as well as a plan of actions to managing them. Some plans are limited to identifying individuals, we can not call this document as a plan without having any actions defined but, I think.
Basically, with a large number of stakeholders, the analysis is somewhat scary, in the first instance. Then you need to somehow group these stakeholders and also combine the actions associated with their management by types. The standardization of actions will reduce the effort required to manage a very large group of individuals.
There are some models to help on this, but I’ll focus on a simple one and in some further developments made over its basic idea.
A widely used model (which is perhaps the most famous one) is the analysis of power and interest (Mendelow’s matrix). The analysis of power and Interest divides your stakeholders into four groups. The model recommends a specific type of treatment for each of these groups.
After having classified the stakeholders and populated the matrix, you will define in your stakeholder management plan as a series of actions that will materialize the type of treatment recommended for the group. Most of these actions you will be later better described or broken down in your communication plan.
Similar to this model, there is the model of Power and Influence, which basically works the same way, but replaces Interest with Influence.
There is also another model that combines Power and Influence in the same column and analyzes Interest separately (Eden and Ackermann, 1998).
Starting from these models, you can add other intra-group prioritization criteria, if it seem appropriate. The most important thing is that depending on the analysis criteria, as suggested by the models above, you use 4, 6 or any other number of standard treatment types to define in general terms how you intend to deal with each group of individuals. The important thing is to adopt a model and use a standard set of criteria to classify stakeholders.
The next step will be describing the actions proposed for the management of each group in the document management plan stakeholders. And the last, and perhaps most important, step is to add these actions to the communications plan and consequently the project schedule (because that’s where they will end up being tracked in practice).