Stakeholder Engagement: The Game Changer for Program Management, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Stakeholder Engagement

The Game Changer for Program Management, 1st Edition

By Amy Baugh

Auerbach Publications

228 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-02-13
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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


About the Author

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).

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)