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PMBOK® Guide: What’s New in Stakeholder Management?

Note: This post is the final in a series reviewing the updates in each of the 10 Knowledge Areas (KA) in the new A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) Fifth Edition.  If you want the big picture of what’s changed in the 5th Edition, check out this earlier post. For a list of all the posts in this series, see below.

stevecaselyicon So what’s different in Stakeholder Management? In short, everything, but in reality, very little. I make this contradictory statement because as Stakeholder Management is a totally new KA, the purpose and intent of Stakeholder Management was always contained in the PMBOK, but embedded on other KAs, primarily Communications Management. And while Stakeholder Management contains four processes (Identify Stakeholders, Plan Stakeholder Management, Manage Stakeholder Engagement and Control Stakeholder Engagement), the bulk of the material in these processes came from the two that were removed from Communications Management: Identify Stakeholders and Manage Stakeholder Expectations.

Here’s a quick look at each of the processes:

  • Identify Stakeholders is consistent with its purpose when it was in Communications Management: the identification of project stakeholders and their information needs.
  • Plan Stakeholder Management, although a process, is consistent with all the new “planning” processes introduced in this edition with a focus on a detailed plan for each KA.
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement, although renamed from Manage Stakeholder Expectations from Communications Management, retains the same purpose and focus on delivering on the promises made during Stakeholder Identification-namely ensuring all stakeholders receive the requested project updates in the desired timeframe and format.
  • The biggest change is to the Control Stakeholder Engagement process. This process focused on ongoing identification and assessment of stakeholders to ensure that new stakeholders are identified as the project progresses. More importantly, this process also ensures that any actions needed are taken to ensure that the stakeholders’ changing requirements are addressed.

The bottom line is that while Stakeholder Management is a new KA in the 5th edition, it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. It’s primarily a re-packaging of existing Stakeholder Management processes into a unique KA.

Series Recap:

PMBOK® Guide is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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