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The stakeholder management plan sets out the preferred procedures, tools and techniques to be used in managing stakeholders.
The document must take into account the context of the work. A stakeholder management plan produced for a small project conducted with the confines of an organisational department will be quite different from one for major programme in the public eye.
The introduction will describe the background to the work and make it clear how this document relates to other relevant documents, such as risk management plans or policies of the host organisation, parent programme or portfolio.
- Roles and responsibilities
Overall responsibility for stakeholder management may lie with the project manager in smaller projects or a dedicated team of specialists in a large programme or portfolio, but many people will have stakeholder management responsibilities.
An important aspect of engaging with some stakeholders is assigning an appropriate member of the team to maintain the relationship. The principles for how that is done should be described here. It may also show paths of escalation and communication within the P3 organisation structure.
- Information management
The composition and format of the stakeholder register and communication plan will be defined here along with any other specialist stakeholder management documents. It is important to tailor the scope of the stakeholder register and communications plan to the needs of the work.
Any required progress reports should be described together with their purpose, timing and intended recipients.
The criteria for successful stakeholder management that will be used in any assurance reviews will be described here.
Assurance of the stakeholder management function will review how the policies and procedures are initiated and operated.
Assurance may also audit the end results of stakeholder management by surveying stakeholders and their attitudes towards the project, programme or portfolio.
Communication with stakeholders will incur costs and these should be included in budgets. The stakeholder management plan will not contain these budgets but will describe whether they exist, how they are managed and where the figures are located.
Stakeholders must be considered in all aspects of managing a project, programme or portfolio. Stakeholder information will have links to documents on benefits, issues, risk etc. How these interfaces and cross-references will be managed should be defined in this section.
This section will recommend the techniques that should be used to identify stakeholders and the sources of information available.
Where lessons have been captured from previous work, they may be available as check lists of typical stakeholder groups that need to be included.
Stakeholders will be assessed in terms of their areas of interest, levels of interest and influence. These would typically be represented as stakeholder maps and influence/interest matrices. The choice and format of such documents will be defined here along with parameters for the scales to be used for interest and influence.
Care must be taken to ensure stakeholder information is secure and confidentiality is maintained.
- Plan communications
The channel, frequency, format and content of communication with stakeholders will be designed to suit their interest and influence. The policies set out in this section will provide guidance on all these factors.
Technical projects may need guidance on standard terminology and multi-national programmes or portfolios may need guidance on the language to be used.
Communication activities may be included within general delivery plans or may warrant a separate communication plan. The preferred approach should be defined here.
The allocation of responsibilities for engaging with stakeholders must reflect interest and influence. The levels of management seniority that should be involved with different stakeholders should be defined.
Guidelines for managing feedback and particularly for dealing with objections or negative publicity must be considered.