Stakeholder Circle® Help

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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. This help page provide information on Identification stage of the Stakeholder Circle® methodology implemented in the SWS (Stakeholder Work-Sheet) spreadsheet.

Topics included Stakeholder Circle® Help:

- Stakeholder Circle® Help - Overview
- Stakeholder Circle® Help - Identification
   -  Stakeholder-on-a-Page (SoaP)

Other related sections of the PMKI:

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

Stakeholder Circle® Help - Overview

The Stakeholder Circle® has been designed to focus management attention on the stakeholders that are important to the success of the business activity, or project, they are managing at this point in time. It incorporates a proven methodology supported by a robust, easy to use tool that guides you through five easy steps to:

SWS BoxThe Stakeholder Work Sheet (SWS) is a sophisticated Excel spreadsheet built to implement the Stakeholder Circle® methodology - see more on the SWS. Instructions on identifying stakeholders and entering their details into the SWS listing are included below. 

For more on the methodology, and recommended approach to accomplishing this task see: Stakeholder Circle® Methodology - Identification.


Identifying the Activity's Stakeholders

It helps to have a team of 3 to 5 people engaged in the identification process, including at least one person (possibly the sponsor) familiar with the power structures of the organization. Using each of the Directions of Influence in turn (described below) to focus the groups thinking helps develop a complete list.

Data Entry

Stakeholder Entry

Stakeholders are created by adding information in the Identification tab, this information is automatically carried forward to other parts of the Stakeholder Circle. You should not add information in other tabs without first creating the stakeholder here.

The list order (Line #) does not change, therefore planning the order of entry may be beneficial. The priority number will be recalculated based on prioritization data entered in the Prioritization tab. In other tabs, there is the option for sorting by priority, or line #.

The SoaP Word template may be used to collect stakeholder data before entry (see below), if this is done, the entry sequence can be optimized.  Blank lines may be left in the list if desired, for grouping and layout purposes. Group headings may also be included; provided these headings are not prioritized, they will sort to the bottom of the list when a tab is sorted by priority.  

Minimum requirements

The minimum requirements to create a stakeholder are:

  1. A unique name (this may be a personal name, position/title or group name). The name should be reasonable short for printing as part of the Stakeholder Circle, but the entry field is not limited, and will text-wrap.
  2. The stakeholders direction of influence relative to the activity/project manager. The direction sets the colour in the Stakeholder Circle. Choose from the pull down list:
    - U for Upwards (eg, more senior managers of the organization or the project control group)
    - D for Downwards (eg, the project team, usually including contractors working as part of the team)
    - S for Sideways (eg, peers and colleagues of the project manager – typically working for the same organization)
    - O for Outwards (eg, suppliers, the general public, or government agencies) 

These directions are included in the SWS Help tab as an aide memoir:

Directions Help

Additional information

It is recommended that additional information be recorded to assist in communicating and prioritizing each stakeholder. The Stakeholder Circle allows the following data to be recorded for each stakeholder, their:

  1. Role or management position, this field is free-form text.
  2. Significance to Project, describes why the stakeholder is important to the work of the project or activity; what we want from them. Their contribution may be significant, or minimal.
  3. Requires from Project, describes what the stakeholder expects or wants from the project or activity. Again, this may be significant, or minimal.
  4. Issues & Comments, many of the decisions made during this and later processes will be subjective, the notes field should be used to annotate and record decisions to assist in further analysis and review at a later date.

The information gathered during the identification stage of the Stakeholder Circle methodology is available for use in both the prioritization and engagement processes.

Stakeholder Identification

Note: The stakeholders shown in the extract above are from a fictional case-study 'Paradise Island' - download a copy of the case-study.

Stakeholder-on-a-Page (SoaP)

SoaPThe Stakeholder on a Page (SoaP) is an easy to use Word template designed to implement the Stakeholder Circle methodology; one stakeholder is recorded and analyzed per page. The template can be used stand-alone for small projects (and is designed to record three sets of assessment for each stakeholder) or for data gathering for later input to the SWS spreadsheet. 

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). Track issues (on the reverse side of the sheet).

This is a very robust, easy to use tool that ensures that all of the identified stakeholders are effectively managed, see more on the SoaP template.


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