The publication of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition significantly increases the profile for stakeholder management. However, the Institute feels that it also vindicates the approach adopted over many years. Therefore, it was treated as a separate module on our programmes and delivered by the faculty expert Professor Sebastian Green.
The introduction of Chapter 13, Project Stakeholder Management as a distinct knowledge area, raises the importance of engaging stakeholders to the same level as all other PM ‘knowledge areas’.
Ideally, the new section would have been placed next to the closely aligned communication management process, but this is not to be – the PMBOK is expanded by adding new chapters to the end.
The four processes follow the familiar PMBOK pattern with a few differences. They are:
- 13.1 Identify Stakeholders – identifying everyone affected by the work or its outcomes.
- 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management – deciding how you will engage with the stakeholders.
- 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement – communicating with stakeholders and fostering appropriate stakeholder engagement
- 13.4 Control Stakeholder Engagement – monitoring the overall relationships and adjusting your strategies and plans as needed
The introduction of a separate knowledge area for stakeholder management is a huge advance and should improve the successful delivery of projects. However, unlike most other areas of the PMBOK, the processes outlined in this 5th Edition are likely to be less than adequate for major projects. As soon as there are more than 20 or 30 stakeholders to assess and manage, the tools described in this version will be shown to be inadequate and more sophisticated methodologies will be needed.
A more sophisticated approach such as that adopted in Dr Lynda Bourn’s (one of our international guest lecturers) Stakeholder Circle application (http://www.stakeholder-management.com/) would be worth considering.
These changes will be examinable in the new PMP® Exam from August 1st 2013.