How to Manage Stakeholder Engagement?

It's difficult to convince a stakeholder to purchase your services or agree to what you're offering if they don't know the people touching their life. One of the most important skills a project manager can have is in engaging and managing stakeholders. Learn how to help yourself by reading this post.

When we talk about stakeholder management, we're talking about a project manager's ability to engage people throughout the process. However, a project manager often lacks much power or authority. But a project manager never has to worry about that because he or she is capable of gathering faith and support simply by taking the time to work with stakeholders.

When you're working with stakeholders, it's important to take the time to understand their motivations, understanding what motivates them and why those triggers matter. Recognizing the importance of stakeholder management can help you reduce your risk, meet a deadline, or even save your job by avoiding project termination.

Key Principles to Manage Stakeholder Engagement

The following principles are keynotes to engaging your stakeholders and keeping your project aligned.

Stakeholder Mapping

When considering a project, it's important to identify who will be interested and how best to address their concerns. You should conduct a thorough stakeholder analysis before beginning your project. Conducting one can give you valuable information about your stakeholders and make the process easier.

It's also important to understand your internal stakeholders, like your core staff, suppliers and contractors, other companies or alliances, and investors -- they're the people on your team who will ensure you succeed. Mapping out your internal stakeholders will give you a clear picture of what you already have in place, but also what more you might need for success.

Measuring Influence

The levels of influence people can have on your business are varied. You should take the time to understand how each individual's involvement may affect your project team or other community members. Low-ranking people will generally only be supportive of your project, but higher-ranking individuals could be more active in shaping and managing before you launch. To measure their potential influence, identify them on an interaction scale from low to high −

High − Which stakeholders have significant power to impact decisions, timeframes, or outcomes?

Medium − Interest in the project with relatively low power to effect project change.

Low − People often see traditional publishers as the real decision-makers, yet they are not in a position to veto or influence a project outcome.

Identifying Triggers

When dealing with stakeholders, it helps to be aware of possible triggers for complaints and know how to mitigate the negative effects. Knowing these things can help remove some of the reasons your business is experiencing a backlash from its customers or stakeholders.

Identify the existing triggers that could impact your project or strategies and use our data to identify possible reactions. Make sure to estimate their impact, and determine whether any targeted communication, mitigation, or alternative solution is needed.

Looking for Opportunities

As an organization, it's important that you look at all stakeholders. Yes, those who will cause disruption may be a priority. Those who view your project positively or may benefit from it are important, too! Identify those stakeholders and consider buying them as advocates.

Proactive Mitigation

The first step in developing a mitigation plan is to identify the stakeholders and their interests. As you uncover these, brainstorm ways in which you might mitigate or eliminate their impact. This will involve identifying what your negotiables are and what's non/negotiable for both the project and your business as a whole. Another way to think about your options is to categorize them into ways in which alignment can change, noise can be mitigated, construction could be altered or deliveries could be rearranged.

Do you want your stakeholders to buy into your mitigation plan? If you can get key players onboard, it will make the process a lot easier and smoother.

Consulting Early

To avoid issues during projects, it's important to have regular meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. This is especially the case for the early stages of a project when the requirements, approach, and tasks are unclear. Early consultation will allow for an understanding of what stakeholders want and need so that you can negotiate a solution that works for everyone involved.

The Human Factor

By expecting irrational, uncertain, and unpredictable behavior, you can work together to create a productive relationship. The outcome is much more positive when you trust each other's intentions.

Planning it!

Engagement is critical for any business and should be done thoughtfully. Bringing thoughtful planning, including analysis of all stakeholders, to every engagement helps ensure that it won't hurt the business.

Relationships will Help You Grow

Identifying and building stakeholder relationships is a win-win. Where there is trust, people are more willing to collaborate, and the project moves smoothly. Identifying your stakeholders and showing them how you can help will ensure they're confident in the solution. Plus, it speeds up the decision-making process on your project.

Keep it Simple

Planning for the unexpected can significantly increase project delivery. It's a simple concept but something that is surprisingly rare in practice and requires deliberate effort to be done well.

Manage Your Risks

Whenever a project is put into motion, it's important to ensure that all stakeholders are adequately represented and weighed in on the decision. Everyone is valuable and can provide insight into potential risks and opportunities which require careful consideration.


The first step in managing change is to establish the baseline for satisfactory outcomes. This can be achieved by analyzing what is most important and driving that to meet the requirements and goals agreed on by the project sponsor.

Understanding What You Mean by Success

If a project is a failure, you need to understand why and then be prepared to hit the magic launch button.

Taking Responsibility

For a project to be successful, everyone in a team needs to be involved and committed to communicating effectively. This includes understanding their roles and responsibilities and staying on track with the right approach. Good project governance's job is to clarify stakeholder engagement roles and responsibilities so everyone involved can make progress.


One thing that's crucial when managing a project is getting everyone's support. You have to take the threat or opportunity of each of your stakeholders into consideration and do everything you can to avoid conflict with them. Stakeholder engagement should start as early as possible, and you need to manage the process so that your project does not fail.

Updated on: 16-Dec-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started