Stakeholder Engagement : The Game Changer for Program Management book cover
1st Edition

Stakeholder Engagement
The Game Changer for Program Management

ISBN 9781032340173
Published June 14, 2022 by Auerbach Publications
232 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Strong stakeholder engagement is perhaps the most critical factor for achieving successful program execution in our fast-paced world. Many program managers get stuck in the "science" of program management, spending vast amounts of effort on tasks, charts, and metrics. Program managers who emphasize activities around relationship building and stakeholder engagement usually have the best chance for program success. This book focuses on how to engage your stakeholders in the right way, and keep them engaged throughout the course of your program.

The first section of the book covers stakeholder engagement in the program definition phase, including how to identify key stakeholders, gain their trust, and build relationships through effective communication. The second section moves to the project execution phase. It explains how to drive stakeholder engagement through the use of performance metrics, effective meeting management, and informal program governance.

In the last section, the author explains how to keep stakeholders engaged through the program closure phase. This section covers the operational readiness review, including transition plans, new process documentation and training, new technology rollout, and cultural readiness assessment. It also provides best practices and tips for holding the post-launch review and lessons learned session. The book concludes with a case study of a fictitious company, followed by discussion questions that allow you to apply the knowledge you have gained in this book.

Table of Contents


Stakeholder Alignment: Goals and Objectives
Understanding Strategic Fit
Initiative Selection through a Steering Committee
Initiative Selection When There Is No Steering Committee
Gathering Information—Interviewing Key Stakeholders
Pulling It All Together
Providing Input to Stakeholders: Know When and How to Push
Creating a Business Case
Estimating Cost Information
Documenting Assumptions
Presenting Cost Estimates: Stakeholder Conversations
Presenting the Business Case: Governance
Related Program Methodology

Making Governance Work for You
Preparing for Governance
Governance Pre-Meetings
Organizational Research—Meet with Other Program Managers
Stakeholder Pre-Meetings
Meeting with "The Interrogator"
Governance Survival
Setting the Tone
Getting through Approvals
Optimize Governance to Your Advantage
Using Soft Skills to Manage Conflict
Related Program Methodology
Summary: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maximize Governance

Identifying Stakeholders: The "Hidden" Organization Chart
Building Your Program "House"
Finding Power Influencers
Tapping into the Organization—Coffee Chats
More Coffee—Identifying the Next Layer of Stakeholders
Social Network Tools
Organizational Network Analysis
Creating an Organizational Network Analysis
Additional Tools for Synthesizing Stakeholder Data
The Power Map
Creating a Responsibility Matrix
Related Methodology

It Is a Matter of Trust: Building Strong Business Relationships with Key Stakeholders
Setting Expectations with Key Stakeholders
Five Principles of Building Strong Business Relationships
Do What You Say You Are Going to Do
Try to Make Sure There Are No Surprises
Create a Mutually Beneficial Business Relationship
Remember That Executives and Customers Are People, Too
Always Show Respect

Leveraging Stakeholders to Prepare Your Organization for Change
Change Management Theory—High-Level View
ADAPT—A Simplified Change Management Model for Program Managers
Applying the ADAPT Change Model to Stakeholder Quadrants
Power Players
Danger Zone

Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement through Effective Communication
The Difference between Program Management and Project Management Communications
Communication Methods "Menu"
Creating a Communications Strategy and a Communications Plan
Targeted Communication Methods by Stakeholder Quadrant
Communicating with Power Players Quadrant (High Interest, High Influence)
Communication with the Danger Zone Quadrant (Low Interest, High Influence)
Communicating with the Informants Quadrant (High Interest, Low Influence)
Communicating with the Sleepers Quadrant (Low Interest, Low Influence)


Demystifying Metrics: Measuring What Matters Most
Measuring Program Performance: Key Performance Indicators
Measuring Performance: Metrics
Examples of Metrics
Metrics for Measuring Project Components of Your Program
Presenting Metrics to Your Stakeholders
Metrics: How Much Is Too Much?
Defining Key Performance Indicators for Your Program
SMART Key Performance Indicators
KPIs: A SMART Example
Driving Stakeholder Engagement through Performance Management

Making Meetings Count: Driving Stakeholder Engagement through Disciplined Meeting Management
How to Run Effective Meetings
Top Five Rules for Running Effective Meetings
Tips to Create a Positive Meeting Environment
Meeting Variations
Types of Meetings, When to Have Them, and Who Should Attend
Meeting Type: Planning Meetings
Meeting Type: Program Status Meetings
Meeting Type: Governance Meetings
One-on-One Meetings
Common Pitfalls of Ineffective Meetings

Where the Real Work Gets Done: Issue Resolution through Informal Governance
Monthly Program Status Updates
Weekly Program Status Updates
Using Project Health Stoplights Effectively
Caution: Yellow Light—Four Steps to Effectively Manage Risks and Issues
Step 1: Identify the Issue or Risk
Step 2: Assess the Issue or Risk
Step 3: Present Options for Issue/Risk Resolution
Step 4: Take Action
Practicing the Four-Step Issue Resolution: An Example
Step 1: Identify the Issue
Step 2: Assess the Issue
Step 3: Present the Options
Step 4: Take Action

Office Politics: From Surviving to Thriving
Managing Up and Managing Down
Your Informal Network and Influence on Office Politics
Addressing Whispering Campaigns
Handling Cross-Departmental Negotiations


Making a Strong Finish: Stakeholder Engagement through Program Closure
Preparing for the Operational Readiness Meeting

Post-Launch: Every End Is a New Beginning
Post-Launch Review
Lessons Learned
Characteristics of a Lessons Learned Meeting
How to Run a Lessons Learned Meeting
Documentation and Repository
Celebrate Success


Appendix A: Case Study and Study Questions

Appendix B: Glossary

Appendix C: Acronym List


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Amy M. Baugh is the president and founder of Milestones Project Management, Inc., providing strategic consulting services across portfolio, program, and project management. With over 15 years of practical program and project management experience across multiple industries, sectors, and geographies, Amy is a sought-after mentor and has recently begun expanding into formal mentoring, training, and education services related to program and project management. It is hard to write a bio about Amy without acknowledging her life outside of work—raising four boys! Keeping her family "stakeholders" engaged and in line with family goals is a challenging program in itself.

Amy is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and is certified by PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Program Management Professional (PgMP). Additionally, she holds a master of business administration with a concentration in change management from DePaul University, and a bachelor of business administration degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. Previous to writing this book, Amy published a chapter entitled "Closing the Expectations Gap: Setting and Managing Expectations" in Ginger Levin’s Program Management: A Lifecycle Approach (Baugh in Levin 2013).