Stakeholder Management – Before one think of managing the stakeholders, it is very important to understand that what is the meaning of Stakeholder?
Dictionary meaning of Stakeholder is – “A person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business.”
Few more definitions are:
“A stakeholder is a party that has an interest in a company and can either affect or be affected by the business.”
“A stakeholder is either an individual, group or an organization who is impacted by the outcome of a project. They have an interest in the success of the project, and can be within or outside the organization that is sponsoring the project.”
“A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies.”
Sometime definition for a stakeholder comes as : “Anyone who is impacted directly or indirectly / positively or negatively from the outcome of a business/product or project”
Can we conclude that if I am working on a product and due to delivery schedules I am ignoring my time, friends and family and they are getting impacted indirectly, so they are also the Stakeholders?
In the context of Scrum, let’s see who all can be the Stakeholders?
Generally, we call :
- End Users
- Consumers (Internal)
- Other teams
Are these also the Stakeholders?
- Line Manager?
- Manager’s Manager?
- Infrastructure Team?
- Compliance Team?
- Third Party Authorities?
Are we considering every one above as the stakeholders?
They are not the Stakeholders, but a type of the stakeholders. You need to identify the actual stakeholders and that is, “A Person” from the above list.
Most of the time people fail to identify an individual accountable stakeholder from the above area.
It’s like sometimes we tag management as a stakeholder, government as a stakeholder, third-party body as a stakeholder and so on, but
- Who in the management?
- Who is the Government?
- Who in the third party vendor?
So the first step of Stakeholder Management is to clearly Identify your stakeholders. Which is not a body , not a type or not a department but actual stakeholder as a PERSON
The next step in Stakeholder Management is to Map your stakeholder:
- Find out what Stake that person has in my product
- Is person will get pleased or disappointed
- with success or failure of the product,
- with decrease or increase in the scope, time or budget etc…
Identify the authority of the person
And map it to Power – Influence, Influence – Impact and Power – Impact
1. Power – influencer
2. Influencer – Impact
3. Power – Impact
Now is that you have mapped your stakeholders on Power, Influence and Impact. The next level of Stakeholder Management is Engage your stakeholders
Once you are done with the mapping then let’s give a rank for each quadrant that will be consistent across the mappings
Plan Stakeholder Engagement
If you multiply the highest number of each of the quadrants than the maximum rank is 4x4x4 = 64 and the lowest is 1x1x1 = 1
Take individual stakeholder from each mapping and quadrant and multiply the associated rank of the quadrant.
|4×4×2 = 32||4×4×4 = 64||1×1×1 = 1||3×1×3 = 9|
|2×2×2 = 8||4×3×3 = 36||2×2×1 = 4||3×3×1 = 9|
You can categorize these numbers into range now and then involve your stakeholders on different Product Activities and Events
Inspect and Adapt and control your stakeholder engagement
Note: The above article is just an attempt to initiate Stakeholder Management in your Product that Product Owner should keep controlling.
This is just my view and what I did during my role as Product Owner and which really helped in managing my Stakeholders. A lot of people must be having their own experience in Stakeholder management that may be better than this and I appreciate that. This article is open for the feedback though.
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A Professional Scrum trainer (PST) from Scrum.org, SAFe® Program Consultant (SPC 4.5) and experienced Spotify consultant with over 14 years of rich experience in building people, Sumeet’s mission drives him to build people and help them learn who they are and how they want to show up in the Agile world.