Stakeholders Bringing in
the 5th Edition PMBOK
By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®,
Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen Medina,
The newest and best PMBOK
Guide is out, and we are here to welcome the Fifth Edition with a
huge bear hug. Call us nerdy, but we like this edition the best yet.
Why? Because we think that Stakeholder Management has been put in a
corner for far too long, and it is great to see it out in its own
knowledge area as it should be.
The introduction of Chapter
13, Project Stakeholder Management, as a new knowledge area is
perhaps the most significant change between the 4th and 5th
editions of the PMBOK Guide. While stakeholder management was very
present in the PMBOK Guide 4th edition (primarily in the
Communications Management knowledge area), the significance of this
addition is that it raises the importance of engaging stakeholders
to the same level as all of the other PM knowledge areas. Lets go
through the four processes to see why this addition is so important.
Stakeholders - This process group focuses on identifying
everyone affected by the work or the project outcomes. In the 4th
edition, this lived in the Communications Management knowledge area.
13.2 Plan Stakeholder
Management – This process group focuses on deciding how exactly
you will engage with the stakeholders that you identified in the
prior process. This is a brand new process, and is consistent with
all of the new planning processes introduced in the 5th
edition, which provides a detailed plan for each and every knowledge
13.3. Manage Stakeholder
Engagement – This process details how you communicate with
stakeholders and ensures appropriate engagement levels. In the 4th
edition a similar process, “Manage Stakeholder Expectations” lived
in Communications Management.
13.4 Control Stakeholder
Engagement – In this process we are focusing on monitoring the
relationship with stakeholders and adjusting our communication as
needed as requirements change. This new process has nothing
comparable in the 4th edition, and is an important
addition to take note of.
This added stress on
Stakeholder Management is so important because effectively managing
stakeholders is one of the hardest tasks in a project. This is
because projects cause change, and people need to be prepared for
those changes in order to accept them. The more you can involve
stakeholders in a way that facilitates change and enhances the
project’s objective – the better.
While we may know that
Stakeholder Management is important intuitively, if we don’t have a
concrete plan in how we will manager our stakeholders, our best
intentions can fall to the wayside as other project priorities
consume the team’s time and energy. This is why having a Stakeholder
Management Plan (an output to Plan Stakeholder Management) is so
We have all heard the saying
that “a Project Manager’s job is 90% communication.” That is right.
And who are we communicating with? Stakeholders! And it makes sense,
because practically everyone who touches or is affected by the
project is in fact a stakeholder.
Consider the 5 major types
And consider that within
each of these broad groups, there are both internal (those directly
affected by the projects, such as employees) and external (those not
in the business but still have an interest in the project outcome,
such as suppliers) stakeholders.
There are also primary (have
major interest in success of a project, such as project sponsor) and
secondary (assist with project completion, but have less of a stake
in the projects success, such as legal counsel), stakeholders.
Then there are direct
(concerned with day to day activities of the project, such as team
members) and indirect (those concerned with just the finished
product, such as your customers) stakeholders.
Ok – I think you get the
picture – pretty much anyone walking or breathing NEAR your project
is a stakeholder. They are important. And we would like to give PMI
a big high five for giving stakeholders the distinguished category
that they deserve – their very own knowledge area.
Make sure to pick up the
PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition book. And, check out Cheetah
Learning’s 2 PDU
Rapid Synthesis of the PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition to learn
everything you need to know about what this new PMBOK is all about.
Happy Stakeholder Managing!
About the Author:
Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is
an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success
easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah
Learning, the author of
Success Series, and a prolific
whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.
Cheetah Learning is a
virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees
worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become “Cheetahs”
using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and
accelerated learning techniques.
Recently honored by the
Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named
Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI®
Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought
leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25
Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.
Michelle’s articles have
appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the
world. Her monthly column, the
Network, is carried by over 400 publications.
She is a graduate of
the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM)
program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and
the University of Dayton.