Leaving a key stakeholder out of project decision-making may have consequences. Stakeholders that are affected may have an interest in or power over your project. If left out, they may not care, but some may have hurt feelings, or worse yet, want to cause harm to your project. It is always better to over, rather than under identify stakeholders - you can always remove someone from the list, but a late add may create issues.
Project professionals often use what’s called a Power-Interest Grid to determine how to manage stakeholders best. The Power-Interest Grid puts stakeholders into four quadrants based on their power and interest levels. The quadrant the stakeholder belongs to advises how to manage the stakeholder best:
Low power-low interest: Track these stakeholders to make sure you correctly identified their power-interest level. Watch as their status may change during the project.
Low power-high interest: Keep these stakeholders “in the loop.” Ensure they receive the right messages, in the right format, at the right times for their group.
High power-low interest: Keep these stakeholders satisfied. Conduct periodic reviews or surveys to determine satisfaction levels. Ignoring a high power, low-interest individual may lead to unforeseen project issues. They may use their power and influence to attempt to address their dissatisfaction.
High power-high interest: Keep these stakeholders engaged. They need to be consulted, given tasks, and involved in some way in the project. They will be influencers who can have a significant impact on projects.
Consider recording the levels of power and interest of stakeholders in your stakeholder register. A periodic review is critical as levels of power and interest in the project may change over time.
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