Recognition of the importance of stakeholder management has taken a huge leap forward since the release of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition. The next challenge, addressed in this blog, is for organisations to be able to map their maturity with a view to improving their stakeholder management capabilities.
The PMBOK® Guide lays out the fundamental framework for effective stakeholder management and aligns fairly closely with the structure of the Stakeholder Circle® methodology we have been developing for the last decade. Within the PMBOK:
- Process 13.1 deals with the identification of stakeholders and the creation of a stakeholder register. This is directly supported by the Identify and Prioritise steps in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology. The key difference is the PMBOK tends to classify stakeholders based on simple 2×2 matrices, the Stakeholder Circle uses a more sophisticated analysis that prioritises stakeholders based on their importance to the project rather than just their attitude (positive or negative).
- Process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management, links the stakeholder management section of the PMBOK to the Communication section and focuses on defining the current attitude of each stakeholder, the realistically desirable attitude we would like the stakeholder to have, and the communication strategy needed to maintain satisfactory attitudes and beneficially change attitudes that need improving. These concepts directly align with the Visualise and Engage stages in the Stakeholder Circle methodology.
- Then the hard work of effectively engaging and communicating with the important stakeholders begins (without ignoring the less important ones). The planning, managing and controlling of communications (from Chapter 10) link to process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement. Issues identification and management is a key element in this process and a core element in our Stakeholder Circle database tool. The next upgrade of the Stakeholder Circle database tool will add a contact management module to facilitate the rest of this process.
- The final process in the PMBOK® Guide, 13.4 is the standard PMBOK controlling process that actively encourages the regular review of the overall stakeholder management process and aligns exactly with Stage 5, Monitor changes in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology. As with effective risk management, the environment needs to be continually scanned for emerging stakeholders, and if the current engagement strategies are not working with identified stakeholders, new ones need to be tried.
The good news is the framework we developed in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology nearly 10 years ago and the framework adopted by PMI in the PMBOK® Guide and most other competent stakeholder management methodologies all lay out the same basic steps. And, as PMI claims for the PMBOK in general, these processes have become generally accepted good practice.
The challenge now is to build these good practices into the culture of organisations so they become simply ‘the way we do business’. Maturity models such as P3M3, CMMI and OPM3 look at the stages of developing and implementing good practices in organisations. The SRMM® Maturity Model has been designed to provide a similar framework for organisations seeking to develop an enhanced stakeholder management capability.
The five levels of the Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®) Model are:
- Ad hoc: some use of processes
- Procedural: focus on processes and tools
- Relational: focus on the Stakeholders and mutual benefits
- Integrated: methodology is repeatable and integrated across all programs and projects
- Predictive: used for health checks and predictive risk assessment and management.
And for each level of maturity, the SRMM Model defines the key features, the good practice components, and the expected tools and reporting process expected at that level of maturity, together with some general guidance.
SRMM is designed to be an open system that would support any effective stakeholder management methodology (not just the Stakeholder Circle), which means SRMM is a useful tool for implementing a stakeholder management methodology based on the PMBOK’s processes as effectively as one using the more sophisticated capabilities of the Stakeholder Circle.
The SRMM® Model is available for downloading and use by any organisation planning to implement effective stakeholder management under a free Creative Commons licence. Download you copy of the SRMM® Model.