1st Edition

Stakeholder Engagement The Game Changer for Program Management

By Amy Baugh Copyright 2015
    232 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Auerbach Publications

    230 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Auerbach Publications

    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.


    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



    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).