Stakeholder Circle® Tools

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The Stakeholder Circle® is designed to enhance the management of a business unit, organizational activity, or project’s stakeholder community to the benefit of the stakeholders and the activity. It is a proven methodology supported by the robust, easy to use tools defined on this page.

Topics included Stakeholder Circle® Tools:

- Stakeholder Circle® Tools Overview
- Stakeholder Circle® Tools
- Stakeholder Circle® Tools Help - Overview
    - Stakeholder Circle® Help - Set up
    - Stakeholder Circle® Help - Identification
    - Stakeholder Circle® Help - Prioritization
    - Stakeholder Circle® Help - Visualization
    - Stakeholder Circle® Help - Engagement
- Stakeholder Circle® History

Other related sections of the PMKI:

- Stakeholder Circle® Methodology
- Advanced Stakeholder Engagement
- The Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity Model (SRMM®).


Stakeholder Circle® Tools Overview

Stakeholder Circle Tools

The Stakeholder Circle® is based on the premise that a project, or business activity, can only be successful if it receives the informed consent and support of its stakeholder community. The primary purpose of the Stakeholder Circle® is to analyze the stakeholder community around the activity to determine which stakeholders require management attention at this point in time, and then to assess the effectiveness of the management action at a later point in time. 

The tools described on this page facilitate the analysis of the stakeholder community, and the regular updating of this assessment as the community changes to reflect the dynamic nature of the activity and its relationships. Changes and trends can be tracked over time to help the team identify which engagement strategies are working and which need reviewing.

The tools described below and in the linked Help files are designed to work together, but may be used stand-alone, or alternative tools substituted. They are:
Stakeholder Work Sheet (SWS100 and SWS1000): macro enabled Excel workbooks, that perform the analysis required by the methodology, and create the Stakeholder Circle®. The spreadsheets are capable of analyzing up to 100, and 1000 stakeholders respectively.
Stakeholder-on-a-Page (SoaP): a simple MS Word template that can be used stand-alone on small projects, or for data gathering during stakeholder assessment meetings.
Communication Plan (CommWS): a practical Excel template for planning and monitoring the routine reporting and communication requirements of a project or or other activity. Larger projects/activities will benefit from using more sophisticated communication management tools such as CRM application to manage the stakeholder engagement processes based on the Stakeholder Circle® analysis.


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The Stakeholder Circle® Tool Descriptions

Tools & Software

Stakeholder Work Sheet: SWS100 and SWS1000 - Excel Template

Stakeholder Worksheet

Note: The SWS spreadsheet uses embedded macros and is designed for use by one business unit, project or program. You will need to enable the macros to use the tool.

SWS100 is designed to manage up to 100 stakeholders.
SWS1000
is designed to manage up to 1000 stakeholders.

The SWS is a sophisticated spreadsheet based on the Stakeholder Circle methodology, designed to manage all of the key aspects of stakeholder engagement for a single project or business activity, including:
- Identifying the stakeholders, defining their role and understanding both your requirements and their expectations (mutuality).
- Assessing the priority of each stakeholder based on their power, proximity and urgency.
- Visualizing the key stakeholders in the Stakeholder Circle report.
- Determining an engagement strategy for each of the key stakeholders to optimize their attitude towards
   the project
- Reviewing and updating the situation at regular intervals during the life of the project.

Stakeholder Circle

Download a free sample: Download the sample Spreadsheet


Stakeholder on a Page: SoaP - Template

Stakeholder On-A-Page

SoaP is an easy to use Word template designed to implement the Stakeholder Circle methodology:
- Identifying the stakeholders, defining their role and understanding both your
   requirements and their expectations (mutuality).
- Assessing the priority of each stakeholder based on their power, proximity
   and urgency.
- Determining an engagement strategy for each of the key stakeholders to
   optimize their attitude towards the project
- Reviewing and updating the situation at regular intervals (three updates).
- Tracking issues (on the reverse side of the sheet)

Stakeholder Circle

Download a free sample: Download the sample Template


Communication Plan: CommWS - Excel Template

Comms Plan

A practical template for planning and monitoring the routine reporting and communication requirements of a project or program. For each report you define: - The report name, start date (first report sent) and frequency (from daily to monthly) - The planned recipients of each report

The system monitors when the reports are due to be sent and if they have been sent and received.

This is a very robust, easy to use tool that ensures that all essential reports and routine communications are effectively managed.

Comms Plan

Download a free sample: Download Sample Spreadsheet


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Stakeholder Circle® Tools Help Overview

The Stakeholder Circle® covered in this help section are:
Stakeholder Work Sheet (SWS100 and SWS1000): macro enabled Excel workbooks.
Stakeholder-on-a-Page (SoaP): a simple MS Word template.

The primary focus is the Stakeholder Work Sheet, the other tools are referenced where appropriate. 

 

General design constraints

Important:

  1. The SWS spreadsheet uses embedded macros, Excel automatically locks this capability on downloaded files to prevent malware programs running. On opening, you will need to enable the macros by clicking on the 'Enable' button displayed in the yellow warning bar at the top of the spreadsheet to use the tool.
     
  2. Data is entered once and re-used through the rest of the spreadsheet. Cells open for data entry have a white background and are detailed in the relevant help sections, all other cells are locked to ensure the calculations and macros remain valid.
     
  3. The spreadsheet holds a single instance of the analysis, we recommend using the Save As option to create a dated series of spreadsheets to allow review and the assessment of change over time.  Using the format:  Activity name - yymmdd  for your file names will sort the spreadsheets in date order.
     
  4. Data entry has to be in the sequence:
    Set up - organization and activity names and data date - see below
    Identification - lists stakeholders in order of entry (Line #), for help see:
         Stakeholder Circle® Help - Identification
    Prioritization - assigns power, proximity and urgency ratings to the identified stakeholder list
        to calculate priority, for help see:  Stakeholder Circle® Help - Prioritization
    Visualization - shows up to 15 stakeholders in the Stakeholder Circle® no additional data
        required, for help see:  Stakeholder Circle® Help - Visualization
    Engagement - maps the current and optimum attitude of each stakeholder to identify
        communication priorities, for help see:  Stakeholder Circle® Help - Engagement.
    All data entered can be edited to correct errors and during future updates.
     
  5. The Help tab in the spreadsheet (page 2 of SoaP) shows some basic help information for key aspects of the tool. The Help pages identified above are also linked for the relevant tabs in the spreadsheet.


Setting up your project

  1. Take a copy of the Excel spreadsheet and re-name with an appropriate activity name and date: Activity name - yymmdd (your license allows multiple copies of the spreadsheet to be used).
     
  2. The spreadsheet opens to the Identification tab:

    SHC Set Up 
     
  3. Enter the organization's name, the project/activity name and the data date:

    SHC Set Up


Updating your project

  1. Use Save As to make a copy of the Excel spreadsheet and re-name with the new date: Activity name - yymmdd
     
  2. Change the Data Date to the new date.
     
  3. Add and edit information as appropriate, generally in the sequence identification, prioritization and engagement. An update version of the Stakeholder Circle® may be printed once the stakeholder data has been updated.

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Stakeholder Circle® History

Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd

Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd was incorporated as a separate company in July 2006 to provide the capital and business focus needed to deliver the Stakeholder Circle® methodology and tools to a world-wide project management market. Prior to 2006, the development of the Stakeholder Circle and support for Dr. Lynda Bourne’s research was undertaken by Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd. The Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd business was absorbed back into Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd in 2018 - see Company History.

Development of the Stakeholder Circle

The development of the concepts that evolved into the Stakeholder Circle began in 1998 with the initial concept papers published in 2002, see
- PP: Concepts for a Stakeholder Circle Management Tool.
- PP: The Stakeholder Circle - Tool Description

The Stakeholder Circle tool was initially developed as a tool to assist Dr Bourne’s research into stakeholder engagement in the period 2001 to 2005 culminating in the award of her Doctorate in November 2005 see: Project Relationship Management and the Stakeholder Circle®.

Commercialization of the Stakeholder Circle tool began in 2005:

  • The SIMS database (FileMaker Pro database) was completed in October 2006 
  • The Stakeholder-on-a-Page (SOAP – MS Word template) was developed in 2007 an used for training
  • The Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®) model was developed in 2008
  • The Stakeholder Work Sheet (SWS – Excel template) was first commercialized in 2009
  • The SIMS database was converted to a SaaS 'cloud' system in 2012
  • The database was withdrawn from the market in 2018, the SaaS approach was incompatible with EU and Australian privacy laws introduced at this time
  • Various aspects of the SIMS database functionality have been incorporated in various Excel tools, see more
  • The latest upgrade to the Stakeholder Work Sheet (SWS – Excel template) was released in 2022, see more.

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