Stakeholders Importance And Their Engagement Management Essay

For any project Planning, management and control are always the most important drivers to deliver the desired outcome.In present days there are many different organisations have embraced the concept of projects as a mechanism of delivering change.Regadless of the size and what kind of industry may be due to this they experience unacceptably high rates of failure, which wastes scarce monetary and human resources and the reputation of the project management profession.

The Stakeholder engagement offers a mechanism for assesing each key stakeholder and there influence to understand their expectations.It also defines the proper way for engaging stakeholders.The aim of this course work is to define stakeholder engagement and their importance for any project.

Stakeholder:

“Stakeholders are an integral part of a project. They are the end-users or clients, the people from whom requirements will be drawn, the people who will influence the design and, ultimately, the people who will reap the benefits of your completed project.” (jenkins, 2006)

It is very important to participate stakeholders in every step of the project for reasons like experience shows that their involvement in the project may increase the chances of success by building in a very significant feedback sphere and involving them in the project can be able to fetch confidence in the final product and will greatly ease its acceptance in your target audience.

The Stakeholder Circle:

There are many researchs regarding the importance of stakeholders roles in enhancing wealth and economical benefits.”One research team (Fletcher et al., 2003) defined a process for mapping stakeholder expectation, one that uses value hierarchies and key performance areas (KPA)”.In this process stakeholders are divided to their respective potential for threat and their potential for cooperation (Blair et al., 1991) or influence of their power basing on their legitimacy of each stakeholder relation with the company as well as the urgency of the stakeholder’s claim on the company (Mitchell, Agle and Wood, 1997).

There are many other methodologies that provide a relevant useful tool for visualising power and influence in social network mapping (Rowley, 1997).It is sort of more holistic process for managing stakeholders, identifying,assessing,influence and support of the stakeholders.This will lead to obtain strategies for assessing stakeholder satisfaction.”It culminates in the development of a stakeholder knowledge base that provides knowledge of who is aware or ignorant and whether their attitude is supportive or opposing” (Turner, 2002).Another (Briner, Hastings and Geddes, 1996) have influences the Stakeholder Circle.

The concepts of power,authenticity and urgency (Mitchell, Agle and Wood, 1997) are valuable for identifying important stakeholders, This idea of providence and centrality(Rowley, 1997) attempted to figure out and show the power and communication importance within the stakeholder community. In the process of developing an proper engagement strategy based on the work of Briner et al. (1996), Turner (2002) and Fetcher et al. (2003).Figure 1 represents the stakeholder circle, which inturn helps project manager and their team in locating the project key stakeholders in relation to specific time within aproject lifecycle.

The prototype stakeholder circle consists of two key elements: concentric circles that represents distance between stakeholder and the projrct manageer.The pattern used for each stakeholder represents homogeneity.

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Figure 1. Prototype Stakeholder Circle.

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The Stakeholder Circle is done basing on the idea that a project can exist only with the up to date consent of its stakeholder community (Bourne and Weaver, 2002), so the relationship between the community that inturn increases project team chance for achieving desired outcome.The stakeholder community comprises of both individuals and groups with a different possible influence the project’s outcomepostively or negatively.

Identification Of Stakeholders:

Identifying project stakeholders starts with the categories upwards,downwords,inwards,outwards and sidewards.Then it is followed by knowing mutuality (French and Granrose, 1995), as defined in the scales of understanding what each stakeholder requires from the project and also the significance of them to the project.Posing these questions makes the relationhip between the project and the stakeholder and make sure that project manager is aware and understand what what the both group needs.This can be done through a workshop with project team and the persons from the organization those familiar with project deliverables and constraints.The information obtained can be entered and validated.Then next-prioritisation of the stakeholders can be done.

Prioritisation Of Stakeholders:

Here the rating of each stakeholder can be done from the project team members by validating stakeholders power,proximity and urgency according to the project.And can be put on into the tool.This list with the relavent data on each stakeholder, helps in developing an engagement strategy.This will make easier for project team to understand and ensure the expectations of key stakeholders.

Stakeholder Engagement:

Stakeholder engagement can be defined as the method of well eliciting the stakeholders’ views on their association with the organization (Friedman and Miles, 2006). Stakeholder engagement can be implicit as the practice that the organisations usually take to engage stakeholders in a positive way in organizational actions or activities. From the view of accountability and responsibility theories, stakeholder engagement is a method by which organisational accountability and responsibility towards stakeholders can be acquitted, often through the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making and governance (Gary, 2002).

In an organisation, stakeholder engagement customs may exist in many areas like public relations, customer service, supplier relations, management accounting and human resource management with the varied set of organisational stakeholder. In such circumstance, stakeholder engagement might be seen as an instrument for consent, control, co-operation and accountability and also as a structure of employee involvement and participation. It is also seen as a practice for enhancing trust and as an alternative for true trust and also as a discourse to enhance fairness. Stakeholders must be appointed to achieve the best through proper planned amalgamation of communication and involvement. This also assists of stakeholder being committed to the organisation.

 

For the companies to execute the operational level of strategic management capability stakeholder engagement may be opted as one approach. In phrase of degree of engagement with their stakeholders, organisations can employee different strategies (Carroll, 2008). Stakeholder engagement presents the sense of corporate responsibility. If the organisation is working with dedication through suitable policy and practice, it is quite clear that it is acting responsibly towards the stakeholders. The more an organisation engages with its stakeholders, the more accountable and responsible that organisation is towards these stakeholders (Greenwood, 2007).

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Even though firms take up a wide series of communication to report their stakeholder engagement efforts, customarily, on the whole usually engaged and most wide-ranging method for reporting stakeholder’s engagement plans is to voluntarily disclosure its annual reports (Boesso, 2009). By tradition Stakeholder engagement is viewed as a corporate responsibility in action. The movement behind the use of the term ‘engagement’ in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the need to emphasize that ,it is no longer sufficient for firms to simply network with stakeholder but also to have a sufficient interaction with stakeholders is considered as logically necessary activity of business (Noland, 2010). 

 

For developing a new activity or to reconsider current or previous efforts a template of principles should be stressed. For stakeholders engagement to be effective the company hold on to various kinds of principles when engaging them on an issue or proposed action or for general feedback (Blackburn, 2007). Planning, transparency, code of conduct, training, inclusiveness, ongoing commitment, and listening are some of the principles of stakeholders engagement.

 

The strategic principles refer to a higher level of understanding and structuring of the stakeholder engagement and involves identifying the stakeholders, significant issues and expectations. The Strategic principles of the stakeholder engagement  deals with the  issues of significance to stakeholders and the agency, understands the concerns, views, needs and expectations of the stakeholders and responds coherently and appropriately. The operational principles are concerned with the action of dealing with the stakeholders such as the stakeholders’ engagement plan and consultation. They involve clear and agreed information with feedback processes. The operational principles of the stakeholder engagement are collaborative and recognize, understand and involve stakeholders in the process. They conduct stakeholder engagement in a manner that fosters mutual respect and trust. When engaging stakeholders on an issue or proposed action or for general feedback, the company adheres to various kinds of principles to help endure the stakeholder engagement is effective.

Maintaining Engagement:

Understanding or defyning relavent responses recquires numerous elements, Like which stakeholders are concerned about project definition and planning process, which stakeholders are in need of more information about the project to ease their opposition and which stakeholders play key and relevant roles.Project managers will be held responsible in converting the resulting strategy of who,what,when and how, of giving the tailored messages which are defined for each stakeholder into action.This helps in integrating the communication plan into the project schedule and reporting the expectations of stakeholders are understood and managed in a very proper way.

Analysing and Planning:

Often the significance of research to stakeholder engagement is ignored. It allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses and eventually build up strategies to connect efficiently. The stakeholder engagement is a serious component to the success of the project and it may be useful to develop a stakeholder engagement plan. For this, various sources, predictable and unconventional, whether it is media, online, literature or word of mouth. As part of the analysis, it is important to examine existing, current and past relationships, available resources and constraints .

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Managing Project Communication Using Prince2:

PRINCE2 has a best move toward managing project communication across the whole project cycle.  It is important that the project manager maintain controlled and bi-directional in order flow to engage and inform project stakeholders.Spotlight should be on how to ensure the project remains feasible even with its business case, produces the obligatory products, and make sure that is maintained according to plan.  The PRINCE2 communication management cycle can be done by using these four steps:  Plan-Execute-Monitor-Improve.I

The communication planning should be in such a way that all stakeholders are identified and engaged throughout the life cycle of the project.The time and resources required for performing this activities will be part of project and team should plan how it should be carried on.

It is very much important to figure out and analyze key project stakeholders to find out their information needs.Identified stakeholders will be the persons or groups who are not part of management team but required to contact and interact regularly or else the project outcome will be disturbed.So, it is very important to have effective communication to get desired results.PRINCE2 recommends a very proper six step process to engage stakeholders:

1. Figure out the stakeholders who are concerned in project or worried about the project outcome.

Evaluate and generate profiles of the stakeholders to know their involvement, interest and attitudes relating to the project

Define a engagement strategy for stakeholders and make them focus on project communications, approving on the information required by each concerned party basing on their roles.

Define a proper communicating proforma, timing of the project communications and decide who the senders and recipients for each specified item.

Engaging stakeholders according to the plan.

Evaluate the efficiency communication activities for the project. (T.Barnard, L.Haner and Weese, 2010)

The Communication Management Strategy:

It defines the resources and regularity of communication with both internal and external stakeholders.The project manager will be held responsible to create and manuscript this strategy and try to update with the strategy stage by stage and make sure it still encompasses all key project stakeholders .

When the project is into the final stage it is also to review the Communication Management Strategy and make sure it includes all the parties who need to be advised that the project is closing. (prince2 2009, 2009)

Conclusion:

This work on stakeholder engagement made me to know how to identify key stakeholders and their engagement and relation with the project manager and the team which inturn reduces the project risk through developing and nurturing relationship within project.

This task presumes that the act of stakeholder engagement in and of itself delivers help towards stakeholders and is, therefore, an act of conscientiousness towards stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement does not always reflect perfect communication, relations and results from start to finish. Stakeholders may be at first argumentative, during the course of the consultations for both internal and external reasons, the important factor is how you deal with these hurdles.


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