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Stakeholder management

This experimental page is part of a new research project. Praxis Framework and Team Animation are collaborating to develop different perspectives on P3M frameworks to match personal communication styles. For more information about personal styles click here and to take part in our research click here.

 

This page provides an insight into how people with four different communication styles will perceive the principles and application of stakeholder management. To get the benefit of this page you first need to understand your own preferred style (or colour) and, ideally, those of your colleagues. You can complete a short diagnostic here to discover your style.

For a pdf of an individual colour, click on a link below:

The attributes of the four colour types explain what they may typically propose or want to see in the corresponding sections of a management plan. Specifically in this case, the structure of the stakeholder management plan is used to explain how different people address different aspects of stakeholder management. The terms ‘propose’ and ‘want to see’ indicate that someone may be involved in writing the plan or simply acting upon its contents.

As people are rarely ‘pure High Green’ or ‘pure High Yellow’ the attributes are only typical of each type. The lists of attributes are not intended to be exhaustive, they are indications of different attitudes that you need to take into account when working in a diverse team. More generic attributes of each colour can be found here.

See how the different styles typically respond to the different elements of stakeholder management by clicking on the diagram below.

 

 

Goals

The goals of stakeholder management are to:

  • ensure that the views and attitudes of all stakeholders are understood;
  • influence stakeholders to be supportive of the work wherever possible;
  • maximise the impact of supportive stakeholders;
  • minimise the impact of unsupportive stakeholders.

When implementing these goals the different colours would focus on different areas.

A High Green would typically propose or want to see:

  • an explanation of what stakeholder management is aiming to achieve
  • a consistent and systematic approach to identifying, assessing and engaging with stakeholders
  • a focus on objective information about stakeholders so that a considered approach can be identified

A High Green would typically be perceived as:

  • engaging with the minimum number of stakeholders, typically in a limited manner
  • cautious in engaging with stakeholders until there has been adequate assessment and consideration of the objectives of engagement
  • supportive of methodical and proven techniques to assess and engage stakeholders

A High Blue would typically propose or want to see:

  • key individuals engaged in the process and given the opportunity to contribute
  • clearly identified roles for managing stakeholders
  • a focus on subjective measures as well as objective in particular the impact of risk on people
  • a cautious approach to engaging and influencing stakeholders

A High Blue would typically be perceived as:

  • supportive of engaging with stakeholders on a primarily one-to-one basis
  • building deep personal relationships with a small number of people
  • having a low appetite for risk as they are typically cautious in their outlook
  • keen to follow protocols and processes in full where they are defined

A High Red would typically propose or want to see:

  • action taken quickly to engage with stakeholders to maximise opportunity
  • assessment of stakeholders and the value from engagement done in a dispassionate way
  • a tangible and ideally quantitative approach
  • evidence of the benefit of stakeholder engagement activities
  • a concise and efficient process for engaging with stakeholders
  • that they have maximum freedom to take action as they believe necessary

A High Red would typically be perceived as:

  • comfortable with engaging stakeholders but in a limited and formal fashion
  • taking a direct approach to engaging with stakeholders
  • dismissive of what they may perceive as unnecessary process
  • dismissive of stakeholder behaviours that they perceive as hindering action and results

A High Yellow would typically propose or want to see:

  • a high level of discussion within the team and engagement with stakeholders
  • a clear message that stakeholder engagement increases the likelihood of successful delivery
  • a focus on qualitative measures during the assessment
  • identification and inclusion of a broad range of  stakeholders in the engagement process
  • identification of short term responsibilities for engaging stakeholders

A High Yellow would typically be perceived as:

  • enthusiastic about engaging with stakeholders in particular in groups or through workshops
  • applying the minimum level of process and analysis before engaging with stakeholders engaging with a broad range and number of stakeholders in a personable way
  • building a large network of stakeholders whose opinions can be sought
  • being overly optimistic about the level of influence that can be achieved

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Procedure

When defining or implementing the steps in the stakeholder management procedure the different colours would typically focus on different areas.

Identify

A High Green would typically propose or want to see:

  • methodical and objective techniques for identifying stakeholders
  • consideration of lessons learned from previous projects and how they can be applied

A High Blue would typically propose or want to see:

  • involvement of people in identifying stakeholders through one-to-one discussions and possibly workshops
  • inclusion of stakeholders that are not necessarily vocal or actively aiming to engage
  • communication with people from previous projects to obtain lessons learned, focusing on the impact on people of the engagement process

A High Red would typically propose or want to see:

  • quantitative rather than qualitative output from tools and techniques that facilitates speedy decision making regarding who will be engaged and to what degree
  • the minimum amount of assessment necessary to allow decisions to be made and actions agreed
  • flexible approaches which act as guidance with the final decision being made by those responsible for engagement

A High Yellow would typically propose or want to see:

  • the involvement of team members in identifying stakeholders, workshops and discussions
  • a broad range of stakeholders being identified that can then be pared down through a prioritisation process
  • communication with people from previous projects to obtain lessons learned
  • equal focus on those who oppose as well as support the project

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Assess

A High Green would typically propose or want to see:

  • quantitative tools and techniques for assessing stakeholders
  • sufficient objective information to allow informed decisions to be made
  • adequate time to make these decisions
  • details of the way the tools should be used e.g. protocols regarding the type of engagement and defined scales of importance, interest etc.

A High Blue would typically propose or want to see:

  • the use of qualitative techniques for assessing stakeholders
  • the opportunity to seek additional information regarding individuals to ensure there is a full understanding of their position
  • comprehensive processes for the assessment of stakeholders
  • clearly defined responsibilities to ensure they are perceived as doing what is expected of them

A High Red would typically propose or want to see:

  • quantitative rather than qualitative output from tools and techniques that allow objective decision making
  • the minimum amount of assessment necessary to allow decisions to be made regarding who, how and when stakeholders should be engaged with
  • flexible approaches that act as guidance, with the final decision being made by those responsible for engagement

A High Yellow would typically propose or want to see:

  • the assessment of stakeholders with a minimal level of formality
  • the adoption and use of qualitative techniques for assessing stakeholders involving the opinions of multiple team members
  • flexible processes for the assessment of stakeholders

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Plan communications

A High Green would typically propose or want to see:

  • a methodical and formal  approach when communicating with stakeholders
  • detailed planning based on an agreed structured approach to engagement and communication
  • conservative projections as to what influence can be achieved
  • a focus on engaging with detractors rather than supporters to understand why they hold this position

A High Blue would typically propose or want to see:

  • considered decision making regarding the allocation of responsibilities and actions for each stakeholder
  • a high level of contingency in the planned effort for engagement to ensure that stakeholders can be listened to and unforeseen circumstances can be dealt with

A High Red would typically propose or want to see:

  • a focus on those with high influence and power
  • probable outcomes from the engagement being identified quickly (and ideally leaders being allowed to make decisions regarding what can be achieved)
  • low levels of contingency in the planned effort for engagement

A High Yellow would typically propose or want to see:

  • quick decision making regarding the allocation of responsibilities and actions for each stakeholder
  • a high level of resources and time being committed to the process
  • a means of incentivising people to engage with stakeholders given the  importance they put on it

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Engage

A High Green would typically propose or want to see:

  • clear and comprehensive responsibilities agreed with each person and adequate time to carry this out
  • a structured process for monitoring stakeholder engagement, which requires formal assessment of all engagements
  • formal and business-like relationships to be built with stakeholders

A High Blue would typically propose or want to see:

  • strong personal relationships being built
  • fair allocation of responsibilities for those involved
  • a clear process for monitoring of response actions and means of agreeing any changes in strategy

A High Red would typically propose or want to see:

  • clear and formally recorded accountabilities
  • formally recorded constraints and decision making procedures
  • timely monitoring and control to ensure that people are being held to account for engaging with and influencing them as agreed
  • a high level of monitoring and control over the engagement activities

A High Yellow would typically propose or want to see:

  • actions followed up by those identified as being responsible
  • informal relationships being created with a large number of stakeholders
  • a flexible and simple means of monitoring progress

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Thanks to Donnie MacNicol of Team Animation for providing this page.

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Stakeholder management

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