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Visualising Stakeholder Influence - Two Australian Examples

"The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators."
Edward Gibbon

Keywords: Project Management, Management Styles, Risk Management, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Circle.

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Visualising Stakeholder Influence - Two Australian Examples [P047]

Purpose of this paper - This paper will introduce and illustrate a tool for measuring and visualising stakeholder influence for managing projects drawing upon two case study examples. Development of the tool was based upon stakeholder and project management theory and it extends our appreciation of the potential impact that stakeholders may exert that unearths vital risk management and customer relationship implications for the project management profession.

Design/methodology/approach - Using a case study and action learning approach, this paper draws upon emerging project management and wider strands of management decision-making literature. The paper is exploratory in nature and the case studies used provide a useful vehicle for reflection and sense making.

Findings - The results of the analysis showed significant differences in the processes needed to manage the respective groups. The project teams recognised they needed to adopt significantly different strategies to achieve stakeholder engagement, leading to stakeholder satisfaction and a successful project. The tool was found by the case study respondents to be useful and that it also complements and enhances risk management approaches.

Research implications - Key implications include the need for those involved in project management in these conditions to be politically astute and sensitive to the needs and pressures of a wide range of project stakeholders. A tool the Stakeholder Circle®, for visualising the influence of stakeholders can be of considerable use and we argue that it be required to cope with the complex issue of stakeholder engagement.

Authors: Dr. Lynda Bourne and Prof. Derek H.T. Walker.

Published - The Project Management Journal 37(1): 5 - 12

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