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The Stakeholder Circle - Original Concept

"All models are wrong but some are useful."
Professor George E.P. Box, University of Wisconsin

Keywords: Stakeholder Circle, stakeholder community, stakeholder management, stakeholder consensus, stakeholder engagement, project management, soft skills, art and craft of project management, third dimension skills, relationship management.

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Concepts for a Stakeholder Circle Management Tool [P007b]

A project can only exist if its Stakeholder Community agrees to its creation and continues to support its existence. Therefore, knowing the relative importance of the different stakeholders (and stakeholder groups) to the overall project is vital. A new technique, using the concept of the Stakeholder Circle, is described to visualise the relative breadth and depth of power exercised by individual stakeholders. This technique allows project management effort to be focused where it is most needed and the role of the Project Manager changes from an inward looking focus on managing the project to a wider role that overtly encompasses the management of the Stakeholder Community including: -

  • Evolving the Stakeholder Circle as the project develops and progresses

  • Setting and managing stakeholder expectations (eg setting realistic time, cost, scope, quality targets)

  • Maintaining the stakeholder consensus

The outcome to be expected from bringing the Stakeholder Community directly into the project management processes, as described in this paper, is to ensure more projects deliver to their full potential to the benefit of their host organisations and the community.

Author: Dr. Lynda Bourne

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