Your project is not successful if your stakeholders are not happy. Stakeholder satisfaction is essential for successful project completion.
According to the PMBOK Guide, “A stakeholder can be a person, a group, or an organization that may be affected, or have any interest in the project, or the project’s outcome; either directly or indirectly.”
What is a Stakeholder Register?
A stakeholder register is a project document that has information about the project stakeholders. It identifies the people, groups, and organizations that have any interest in the work and the outcome.
You can find the following information on a stakeholder register:
- Type of influence
You should create the stakeholder register once the sponsor signs the project charter. Identify and analyze your stakeholders. Then you can draft a strategy to manage these stakeholders. This document will help you complete the project with less hassle.
The Content of the Stakeholder Register
You can divide the stakeholder register information into three categories:
- Stakeholder Identification
- Stakeholder Assessment
- Stakeholder Classification
If you include a stakeholder management strategy, it will be the fourth category.
In a big organization, stakeholder management strategy is a separate document. However, in a smaller one, this information can be included in the stakeholder register.
In this section, you will note the following:
- Contact information
- Role in the project/organization
This is an important section. There are many stakeholders and you may not interact with them all frequently. A few may be unknown to your team members and this information will be useful if you need to contact these stakeholders.
Here you will record your assessment of each stakeholder, such as:
- Their requirements
- Their communication needs
- Their communication frequency
- Their expectations
- Their influence on the project
- Their interest and power
Project management is about stakeholder satisfaction and understanding your stakeholders’ requirements, expectations, communication needs and their influence on the project. It will help you complete the project with minimal obstruction.
Here you classify the stakeholders based on various criteria.
You may categorize them based on their power and on their interest in the project. High power stakeholders will be separated from lower power ones.
You can assign attributes to stakeholders; for example, internal, external, positive, supporter, resistor, or neutral. This is vital information. Based on these attributes, you will develop your stakeholder management strategy.
Stakeholder Analysis and Management Strategy
After identifying your stakeholders, you will classify them.
To classify stakeholders, you can use any model, such as Power/Influence Grid, Influence/Impact Grid, Power/Interest Grid, and Salience Model.
After completing the classification, you will draft the stakeholder management strategy. This will help you manage them according to their requirements, influence, and interest in the project. A more influential stakeholder will require a different strategy than one with a lower level of influence.
The stakeholder register can have sensitive information, and you may not want your impressions of others to be known by everyone. Therefore, keep this document in a secure place. Make sure access to this information is limited.
Many organizations do not restrict who can read the stakeholder register. If this is the case, you can create a separate document for your stakeholder strategy and keep it in a secure place.
As the project progresses, you will identify new stakeholders and their attributes can also change. Keep the register updated throughout the project life cycle.
Inputs for the Stakeholder Register
You may wonder how the stakeholder register is developed. You can develop yours with the help of the following documents:
- Project charter
- Contract document
- Old lessons learned
- Organizational process assets
You will conduct brainstorming sessions with your team members. You may use interviews and information gathering techniques to collect the stakeholders’ data.
Stakeholder Register Template
Every organization has a template for the stakeholder register; you do not create it from scratch, just have to identify the stakeholders. Once you complete this process, you will update your stakeholder register.
Below are a few links for stakeholder templates.
You can review them for a better understanding of the stakeholder register.
Before concluding this post, let’s revisit the key points:
- A stakeholder is a person, group, or other entity who has an interest in your project.
- A stakeholder register is a project document that records the details of your stakeholders.
- You should update the register when you identify any new stakeholders. Any change in a stakeholder’s attributes should be updated in the register.
- You should limit access to this document as it may have sensitive information.
You create the stakeholder register when the project charter is signed. It has your stakeholders’ information and strategies to manage them. Identifying stakeholders is a continuous process, and this document should always be kept current.
Have you created a stakeholder register for your project? What information do you record and how often you update it? Please share your experience in the comments section.