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Program stakeholder management

Program stakeholder management: identifying and analyzing stakeholders

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Program stakeholder management: identifying and analyzing stakeholders

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Certified Project Manager program.

This chapter explains the concept of Program stakeholder management in the context of BVOP.

  1. What is Program stakeholder management?
  2. Who are the stakeholders?
  3. Identifying stakeholders
  4. Analyzing stakeholders
  5. Stakeholders engagement

What is Program stakeholder management?

Program stakeholder management usually involves identifying and analyzing stakeholders and looking for positive engagement with stakeholders. Simply put, important program stakeholders need to be identified and their various levels of engagement, commitment, influence, and interest identified. A collection with all relevant stakeholders is often created and their indicators mentioned above are described.

Who are the stakeholders?

Stakeholders are called all participants in a project or program. These can be investors, directors, the board of directors, external organizations, sponsors, lending banks, consultants, developers, project managers, team leaders, etc.

All of the listed groups of participants have different influences and interests in the project. Their activity, energy, and commitment to work often vary.

Each stakeholder has communication requirements and demands different professional qualities and a form of communication and administration. The satisfaction of these different needs can simply be called Stakeholders engagement.

About this chapter

This chapter is part of the BVOP Project and Program Management Certification program guide.

Stakeholders are considered to be individuals, a group of individuals, and all other internal and external parties of the organization that may influence the program or be influenced by its realization positively or negatively.

Stakeholders generally expect a positive result from the program, its projects, or parts of the projects.

They may provide valuable input for the program and projects at the early stages or during the program realization.

Stakeholders may be the primary source of defining program and projects' scope and requirements.

Stakeholders can be investors or their representatives, other external parties, clients, partners, authorities, internal organizational members.

Program stakeholders management may include:

  • Identifying stakeholders
  • Analyzing stakeholders
  • Stakeholders engagement

Identifying stakeholders

Identifying stakeholders may include collecting stakeholders' names, contacts, information, and predicting the influence they might have on a program.

Analyzing stakeholders

Analyzing stakeholders may include understanding their needs, expectations, interests, competency, and concerns.

The BVOP suggests that the validity of the stakeholders' input during stakeholder engagement should be analyzed. The information they provide may not be valid to the organizational, business, or market needs. Program, project, and product management roles are responsible for validating stakeholders' input.

Stakeholders may have different interest levels towards a program, project or initiative. Their willingness for collaboration may also vary.

Unmanaged and dissatisfied stakeholders or such with low interest may be considered as a major risk for disturbing the program or projects' success.

Stakeholders engagement

Stakeholders engagement is important for the program and project realizations, and it may relate to:

  • Establishing trust between stakeholders and program and project management
  • Establishing and maintaining transparency about  information, risk, and outcomes
  • Persuading them to provide accurate, adequate and timely information as well as assistance
  • Communicating the right information
  • Consulting or interviewing
  • Presenting information and projects outcomes
  • Negotiations

The following issues related to chapter "Program stakeholder management" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of September 25, 2020, 1:03 pm

ID Issue Time Category
0 What is Program stakeholder management? 60 sec PGM, PM
1 Analyzing stakeholders 60 sec PGM, PM
2 Who are the stakeholders? 60 sec PGM, PM
3 Identifying stakeholders 60 sec PGM, PM
4 Stakeholders engagement 60 sec PGM, PM

Comments from the BVOP™ community

Amanda Gonzalez

Program stakeholders management is the most difficult activity in the context of project and program management practices. Knowledge of multiple management practices, principles, methodologies, and rules does not always help.

It's work with people, and people are unpredictable. They have emotions, they keep secrets. They do not always share their thoughts and always expect much more than what they say. The results do not satisfy them and they express their displeasure.

Stakeholders management practices require additional attention and incorporation of people, staff and business individuals communication principles.

Cultural differences have an impact. The job position is also very important. Sometimes people abuse others.

Stakeholders can be different parties involved in a project or an entire program in one way or another.

At the program level, stakeholders will most often mean top management, partner organizations, clients, investors. From time to time, you will need consultations and discussions with team leaders.

I can advise readers of The BVOP Ultimate Guide, when they get their certificate and start participating in real projects and programs, to keep in mind that stakeholders management will be a difficult task and they will be very disappointed at the beginning. You may need training in communication practices, emotional intelligence, and listening skills. These are quite different from the management sphere in general, but you will benefit from these new useful skills.

Comments of our guests
  1. Donovan Thomas
    To deal with your stakeholders, you need to express your determination and you need to be convincing. Show respect, rigor, adequacy, as much professionalism as possible. Improvize. Otherwise, they will not take you seriously. If your stakeholders are not fully involved in the project, you are doomed to failure. And you are responsible for the failure.
  2. Anna Haruto
    I want to advise readers and beginners in the project management profession to be careful when initializing communication and stakeholder relations, as initial relationships can be crucial for a constructive extension of the partnership. The point made above is that the building of trust with stakeholders is an integral part of the responsibilities not only of program managers but also of project managers. It is commendable that you put this topic first.
  3. Aubree Hayden
    @Anna Haruto I totally agree with you. Wouldn't it be easier and safer if just beginners in the field did not have direct contact with stakeholders.
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