Stakeholder Performance Domain (Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area in PMBOK 6)

The stakeholder management performance domain in PMBOK 7 consists of all endeavors to identify people and organizations who were impacted by the project or who affect the project in any way as well as evaluating stakeholder expectations and their impact level on the project. The core of this performance domain is developing appropriate management strategies for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and delivery.

Engagement of Stakeholders

A project without any stakeholders is unthinkable. Projects where there is no effective stakeholder engagement in decision-making and implementation processes are not ensured are doomed to fail. Especially the engagement of the key stakeholders who are the people who are in a natural position to take project-level decisions when needed is of immeasurable value. In a big part of the stakeholder management in a project, the project manager will have to use his/her interpersonal skills and leadership skills. A project manager has to be a good steward here also, along with his/her relations with the project team.
Stakeholder engagement involves, identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, engaging, and monitoring stakeholders throughout the project. 

Although stakeholder management may seem easy on paper, it is one of the most difficult responsibilities that the project manager has to fulfill. Because in most projects, the project manager does not have authority over stakeholders. A project manager cannot manage people and organizations that are not even in his or her organization and do not report to him or her, because he or she is not a designated stakeholder manager. Therefore, the project manager manages only stakeholder engagement, not stakeholders. This is also a core part of the project integration endeavor.

Although it is very difficult to implement, the most important thing for a project manager to pay attention to is to ensure that he does not have an unhappy stakeholder. However especially in large-scale projects almost always there would be reasons for the stakeholders to be unhappy. The unavoidable conflicts between stakeholders can lead to rapidly spreading unhappiness. The main tool of the project manager to avoid this type of situation is to identify stakeholders correctly and analyze their needs and expectations and follow these expectations well.

The stakeholder performance domain is in many ways in interaction with the other performance domains such as;
To be able to understand this relationship better, just imagine the old stakeholder management knowledge area and features of its processes.

Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area in PMBOK 6

In PMBOK 6 there were four processes in the stakeholder management knowledge area. These are:
  • Identify Stakeholders
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement
  • Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
Stakeholder management starts with the identification of the project's stakeholders. Identify stakeholders process is all about identifying as many stakeholders as we can that we know affected by the project or has impact on it. Then the next step of identification of evaluating them according to a prioritization method recommended by PMI.

The next step is preparing a stakeholder engagement plan that will represent the applicable and logical strategies determined by the project team about dealing or working with or involving each of those stakeholders. The manage stakeholders process is the execution part of the stakeholder management knowledge area. This execution is done to reduce conflicts, increase cooperation and coordination and reduce personal issues. This way the goal is to increase the chances of success. The last process in this knowledge area is monitoring stakeholder engagement. As you can interpret from its name it is all about monitoring the whole process of stakeholder engagement and adjusting strategies and plans if necessary.
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