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SRMM®:  The five stages of Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity


"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results"
Winston Churchill

Keywords: Stakeholder management, relationships, maturity. 

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SRMM:  The five stages of Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity [P067]

The central role of stakeholders in the successful delivery of projects is becoming increasingly recognised. However, whilst critical to success, these roles are neither passive nor predetermined. The project team has significant opportunities to influence stakeholder’s perceptions and expectations for the benefit of both the stakeholders and the project; but only when there are effective relationships in place with each key stakeholder.

Identifying, mapping and prioritising a project’s stakeholder community is only the beginning.  Projects can only be considered successful when their key stakeholders acknowledge they are a success.  This requires the project team to effectively engage with each of its key stakeholders to understand and manage their expectations and then deliver the project to meet or exceed these ‘managed expectations’. Expectations are never ‘fixed’; effective communication can help change perceptions and expectations to make them realistic and achievable. Conversely, ineffective communications can create the perception of failure in the mind of a stakeholder even when the project is ‘on time, on budget and delivering the specified scope’.

Engaging effectively and ethically with key stakeholders to help create a successful project outcome requires significant levels of skill and maturity. This paper will define the five levels of SRMM and suggest a route most organisations can follow to progress from ‘Level 1’ to ‘Level 5’.  The 5 levels of SRMM are:

1. Ad hoc:  some use of processes
2. Procedural:  focus on processes and tools
3. Relational:  focus on the Stakeholders and mutual benefits
4. Integrated:  methodology is repeatable and integrated across all programs and projects
5. Predictive:  used for health checks and predictive risk assessment and management.

Author: Dr. Lynda Bourne

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