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Wednesday, 18 February 2009 06:53

Green Stakeholder Management

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Recap of Green Project Management:

Green Project Management (GreenPM) integrates environmental thinking into all of the project management decisions. It is a way to ingrain “greenthink™” into every project management process.

The point about green project management is not that you make every decision in favor of the one that is most environmentally friendly. The point is that you start to take the environment into account during the decision-making process. You might make most decisions the same as you do today. But there might be some decisions you would make differently.

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholders are specific people or groups who have a stake or an interest in the outcome of the project. Normally stakeholders are from within the company and could include internal clients, management, employees, administrators, etc. A project may also have external stakeholders, including suppliers, investors, community groups and government organizations.

As your project gets larger and larger, you generally have more and more stakeholders to worry about. If you have a large and diverse stakeholder community it makes sense to perform a stakeholder analysis. In some cases you might want their help, in some cases you need their buy-in, and in some cases you need to make them aware of accomplishments of your project. This stakeholder analysis will help you determine the various stakeholder groups and what their role is on your project.

Green Stakeholder Analysis

No, I am not referring to stakeholders with green faces. I am referring to performing stakeholder analysis using Green Project Management. Use the following process for stakeholder analysis.

1. Identify Stakeholders. You can’t do the stakeholder analysis without first knowing who your stakeholders are. Organize a brainstorming session with your team to identifying all possible stakeholders. These could be individual persons or stakeholder groups. Examples include Sponsor, clients, project director, project team, vendors, etc. Applying Green Project Management gets you thinking a little more broadly. Perhaps you should be including your company’s Environmental Policy Committee, or a local environmental government agency. Green Project Management does not mean that you add these stakeholders for sure. It just means that you broaden your thinking to see if there are any environmental stakeholders that should be identified.

2. Determine the importance of each stakeholder. Look at each stakeholder and determine how important he is to the success of your project or what the impact would be on your project if the stakeholder had no connection at all. Categorize each stakeholder in terms of high/medium/low importance. 

3. Identify the interest level of each stakeholder. To varying degrees each stakeholders has a stake or interest in your project. You now need to identify what these stakes or interests are. In some cases a stakeholder might be expecting to get something specific from the project and will want to be kept informed of its progress and involved wherever possible. In other cases, the stakeholder may have very little interest in the project, other then to be kept informed. You can ask whether any of the stakeholders have an interest in the environmental impact of the project. 

4. Identify the impact each stakeholder can have on the project. You may now have a long list of people and organizations that will be affected to varying levels by your project. Now determine what their impact and influence are. Some stakeholders can block your project. Others have no formal power but are influencers. This information will help you determine how to work with the stakeholder.

5. Determine how you will engage each stakeholder. For each stakeholder, you should identify a set of activities or even an overall approach to satisfy their needs. You should identify activities that help you to achieve your interest while also recognizing the relative importance of each stakeholder. Obviously you will spend more time working with stakeholders that are important to your project and less time on stakeholders that are of low priority. The purpose of this step is to define the activities that your project team needs to do to make sure that you address the interest of each stakeholder. You may want to engage stakeholders that have an interest in the environmental impact of the project in some special ways. You will definitely be communicating with many of these stakeholders, so some of these activities may overlap with your Communication Plan. It is okay to mention these in both places. You are still only going to execute each activity one time.  
6. Gain agreement with the stakeholders when necessary. In some cases, stakeholders want things from your project. However, in other instances you need something from them. If you need something from the stakeholder or stakeholder group, make sure that they understand what your expectations are and make sure that they agree to provide it. For instance, the stakeholder group may need to provide resources, time, money, attention, feedback, etc.
You don’t want to keep a separate stakeholder activity spreadsheet. After you identify the activities to engage the stakeholder groups, place all of the activities in the project schedule, along with who is responsible, the timeframe, estimated effort, etc. This will ensure that the work to manage the stakeholders actually gets done. This includes both the “normal” stakeholder management activities and any specific activities you added to address the green aspects of stakeholder management.

Save the World – Use Green Project Management™ 


Tom Mochal, PMP is President of TenStep, Inc., (www.TenStep.com) a company focused on methodology development, training and consulting. Mochal is an expert instructor and consultant on project management, project management offices, development lifecycle, portfolio management, application support, people management and other related areas. He was awarded 2005 Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI). He is author of numerous books and has over 600 columns published on project management, people management, organizational process management and the development life-cycle. Prior work experience includes Geac Computers, The Coca-Cola Company, CapGemini and Eastman Kodak.
Read 5848 times Last modified on Sunday, 22 February 2009 14:12
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