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For the PMP Certification Exam, you will be expected to spend time identifying your stakeholders and determining how they can support the good of the project. A Power/Support grid to analyze stakeholder involvement can be a handy tool in this process.

Control Stakeholder Engagement: Tools and Techniques

Another example that demonstrates how stakeholder engagement can be controlled involves the city inspector. In the following scenario, you will see how a stakeholder’s engagement (the city inspector) has a potential to affect the project and also how the project team uses information management systems, expert judgment, and meetings.

Inspector issue and impact

On November 8, the following issue was entered in the issue log:

Rick Johnson is new building inspector; he was hired by the city on October 10. He is scheduled to do his inspection on the childcare center on December 1.

At a local builder’s association meeting, the general contractor for the childcare center heard that Rick has not approved buildings that didn’t have their documentation complete and indexed per the instructions Rick sent 10 days prior to his visit. This has caused a delay in the approval for several buildings in the city.

Fast-forward two days to November 10. You have not received the documentation request from Rick, and the contractors do not work the week of Thanksgiving.

You meet with the general contractor, several of the subcontractors, and the facilities manager to determine the impact and then brainstorm solutions. The group determines the following impacts:

  • Scope impact: There may be additional unplanned work to provide all the documentation in a specific presentation style.

  • Schedule impact: If the inspector doesn’t sign off on the childcare build-out on December 1, it will cause a day-for-day slip in the schedule. The childcare center may open late, especially with the winter holidays reducing the number of work hours in the month.

  • Cost impact: If contractors are willing to work overtime in December to get the paperwork and documentation indexed correctly, it will lead to a schedule overrun.

The group decides to consult with J.J. Shoals, a contractor who successfully passed the city inspection, in order to minimize the risk of not passing the inspection. They set up a meeting with the J.J. three days later and develop a work plan to gather, organize, and present the information in the format that worked for J.J. previously.

Hold productive meetings

Meetings are a common method of sharing communication and engaging stakeholders in projects. Project managers spend considerable time leading meetings. Some are informal meetings involving a few team members, some are project team meetings, and some are formal presentations to management and other key stakeholders. Some of the key guidelines to effective meetings are

  • Have meetings only when necessary.

  • Make the purpose of each meeting clear.

  • Prepare, distribute, and follow an agenda.

  • Make sure the right people are at the meeting and also that only people who need to be present are invited.

  • Encourage participation.

  • Manage conflict if and when it occurs.

  • Issue minutes.

  • Follow up on action items.

When distributing information, you can use hard copy or electronic information. You can push out the information, you can have people pull it as needed, or you can deliver it interactively.

Control Stakeholder Engagement: Outputs

The outputs from this process are similar to the outputs from the Control Communications process:

  • Work performance information: Information about the effectiveness of the stakeholder engagement process, such as the level of support and participation in the project.

  • Change requests: Corrective or preventive action needed to bring engagement into alignment with the plan, or to meet changing stakeholder engagement levels.

  • Project management plan updates: The stakeholder management plan is the most likely document you will update, although the communications management plan and the human resource management plans may also require updates as well.

  • Project documents updates. The stakeholder register and issue logs are the most likely documents that will need updating.

  • Organizational process assets updates: All project documentation, including lessons learned, outcomes of issue resolution, and corrective actions.

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