Exploring the Benefits of a Stakeholder Register in Project Management

A stakeholder register is a useful tool that helps to ensure transparency and accountability. In this blog post, let us explore the primary benefits of using a stakeholder register in project management.

Visual PMP Academy
January 12, 2024

When projects are experiencing immense developments, active involvement and commitment with project stakeholders are necessary. Regularly communicating with the stakeholder community throughout the project reduces risk, builds confidence, and supports modifications earlier in the project cycle. Thus, active communication reduces costs and increases the probability of success for the project. That team must frequently exchange information in a dynamicco-creative means that makes the stakeholder responsive and notably satisfied.

A stakeholder register is a useful tool that helps to ensure transparency and accountability. Any issues related to the changing project will surface quickly, including misalignments and dependencies.

What Exactly is a Stakeholder Register?

A Stakeholder Register is an essential tool for any project management or organization. It documents information about stakeholders. It identifies their vested interest in a project or an organization’s success. By keeping an up-to-date Stakeholder Register, you can ensure that you are engaging with the right people, at the right time, and in the right way. Maintaining a Stakeholder Register can be the difference between success and failure. 

The Elements of Stakeholder Register

The Stakeholder Register is a document that contains information about stakeholders. This information includes the following information: identification, assessment, and stakeholder classification.

1. Identification. This includes information on the stakeholder’s name, role, organizational position, contact details, location, interests, and level of influence on the project.

2. Assessment Information. Stakeholders should meet the major requirements and expectations of the project. During the life cycle of a project, stakeholders can have a significant impact on project outcomes. An example of this is the salience model. This model categorizes stakeholders based on their perceived power, including their level of authority or ability to influence project outcomes. This classifies the urgency of their projects, including the need for immediate attention, time constraints, or high stakeholder involvement.

Furthermore, it builds their legitimacy and the authenticity of their participation.

3. Stakeholder Classification. Stakeholders can be classified according to the direction of their influence on the project or project team. Stakeholders can be classified in the following directions: Internal/external, impact/influence/power/interest, upward/downward/outward/sideward, or any other classification model chosen by the project manager.

a. Upward - They are involved as the senior management of both the performing and customer organizations, along with the sponsor and steering committee, in this process.

b. Downward - They perform as a group of specialists who support the team with their knowledge or skills temporarily.

c. Outward - They include representatives of stakeholder groups outside, including suppliers, government departments, end-users, regulators, and the public. This is crucial to ensure the project's success and meet the needs and expectations of all parties involved.

d. Sideward - They act as project manager's peers with other project managers or with middle managers who may compete or collaborate for resources or information.

Steps to Creating a Stakeholder Register

Starting to develop your registry early on in the initiating phase of your project is crucial to its success. Don't wait until it's too late. Below are some ways in which you can create your Stakeholder Register.

  1. First, to ensure an effective stakeholder register for your project, it is imperative that you begin with the initial version generated upon the completion of the project charter.
  2. Next, write a list of any additional names that come to mind.
  3. Then, discuss your project with others. During the discussion, it's always a good idea to ask who might be impacted or interested. That way, you can ensure that you're considering everyone’s perspectives and making the most of your project.
  4. Afterward, carefully select a few key stakeholders and conduct a formal brainstorming session. With a few of them, you can gain access to a wealth of innovative ideas and insights that can help drive your project forward.
  5. Keep adding and removing names of potential stakeholders until you have considered all available options.
  6. To achieve efficiency, categorize your registry. Increase the likelihood of identifying all relevant stakeholders by creating categories in your Stakeholder Register. With the categories in mind, you're less likely to overlook people when you consider them by department or group, instead of identifying each person from the organization at the same time.
  7. Categorize your Stakeholder Register by ranking your demographic of people who may be influenced by, assist, or are responsive toward your project. You can create your ranking by looking at the following groups:
  • Internal: They are Individuals and teams within your organization
  • Upper management: These people are part of the executive-level management. They have the responsibilityfor the general oversight of all operations within an organization.
  • Requesters: Requesters, as the name suggests, requestsomething from you. Theirrequests have generated ideas for yourprojects.
  • Project manager: This person is given the overall responsibility for completing the project successfully
  • End users: They are the consumers of the goodsor services as the product/of the project

What is a Stakeholder Analysis Matrix?

Stakeholder analysis is an essential process that helps distinguish and comprehend individuals or groups influenced by a project. It indicates a comprehensive list of stakeholders and the irrelevant details such as their positions in the organization, their roles in the project, their interests and expectations, and their attitudes towards the project. This information can then be used to establish a Stakeholder Analysis Matrix that assists in managing stakeholder involvement, communication, and expectations throughout the project lifecycle.

The stakeholder’s analysis matrix consists of:

  • Interest: A decision regarding the project or its results can influence a person’s or group’s point of view or opinion.
  • Rights (legal or moral rights): It is worth noting that legal rights are defined by a country's legislative framework concerning occupational, health,and safety. Moral rights, on the other hand, may includethe safeguarding of historical sites and the advancement of environmental sustainability.
  • Ownership: A person or group can have legal ownership of an asset or a property.
  • Knowledge: Having expertise or specialist knowledge can improve the project’s capacity to accomplish goals, produce results, or appreciate the power dynamics of the organization.
  • Contribution: Resources can be provided through funds and personnel. Other non-tangible methods can contribute to the project. These can be advocating its objectives or acting as a mediator between the project and the organization’s politics and power structures.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Stakeholder

Stakeholders in a project or organization have avariety of roles and responsibilities. Below are some commonroles and responsibilities that stakeholders can possess:

  • Sponsorship: Stakeholders can be, or can provide,sponsors of a project and provide general support, resources, and direction.
  • Middle Management: They can be middle managers who are in charge of particular teams or departments inside the company.
  • Team Members: They can take the role of team members who take an active role in accomplishing the project. Team members call for thorough discussion about assignments, designations, coordination, due dates, expectations, and any modifications to project plans and schedules.
  • Consumers/Clients: The stakeholders can be the targeted customers and market of the project's deliverables. They are the recipients of the project’s achievements and results.
  • Regulators/ComplianceOfficers: They can be involved in maintaining that industry rules, protocols, standards, andethics are followed.
  • External Stakeholders: External stakeholders benefit from reliable and well-prepared updates about the activity's results, effects, andfuture developments.

Project Benefits of Stakeholder Analysis

There are notable benefits to creating and securing a stakeholder analysis for the stakeholders themselves, for the project members, and for the organization that generates the project.

As previously mentioned above, outcomes of having a stakeholder analysis lead to the identification of stakeholders along with appropriate details, including their organizational positions, project designation, vested interests, expectations, beliefs, and desires for project details.

This analysis can effectively support and advance the delivery of the project objectives, organized planning of results and achievements, and keenly comprehend the power structures and dynamics within theorganization.

Having these benefits can then lead to obtaining financial security and other necessary resources.

What is a Stakeholder Cube?

The development of the stakeholder register employs the Stakeholder Cube. This cube isused to connect the grid elements into a three-dimensional model that project managers and teams may find useful in recognizing and interacting with their stakeholder community. This model illustrates multiple dimensions that enhance the representation of the stakeholder community and facilitate the enhancement of communication methods. 

To further explainthe model, the power/interest grid, power/influence grid, or impact/influence grid elements assist you in classifying your stakeholders. Each element is described thus:

  • Power: degree of authority they possess
  • Interest: degree of involvement regarding the project's results
  • Influence: the potential to have an impact on or modify the project's developments, planning, or implementation.

Ways to Involve Stakeholders in a Project

Now that you know the benefits, components, and structure, of a Stakeholder Register, and that you understand the elements of a Stakeholder Cube, you can now actively involve your stakeholders with your project. Apply the action plan below for your projectto get the most out of your stakeholders' participation.

  1. Early Planning. As you begin to come up with your project and have the desired results in mind, it is necessary to involve your stakeholders in the beginning stages of the project planning. Make it clear to them whether they have a part to play in the project and the significance of their part. Make them understand the reason they have been chosen to take part in the project. Allow your stakeholders the opportunity to take part and suggest some ideas in the planning stages even though it may not be necessary for them to start working on the project until much later. With that opportunity, the information that they share in the early planning stages can make their tasks easier. They can have the advantage of time to serve you when they are called for.
  2. Legal Transparency. When you are working with a particular stakeholder on a specific project that may involve certain legal issues that you may be concerned with, it is wise to consult your legal team or contracts department. Here’s an example. Say you're a movie producer and one of the main investors in your latest film project is a foreign billionaire with close ties to his country’s government and he wants some changes to the film script to include some dialogue that puts his country in a positive light. However, because of this investor’s government connections, you are not sure if making these changes to the movie will violate any laws against foreign propaganda, so you inform the stakeholder that you need to check with your lawyers before considering his request. This keeps him in the loop as to any possible legal problems that may arise.
  3. Communication and Coordination. As the saying goes, communication is key to a better relationship. This goes the same between you and your stakeholders. Build a clear communication strategy with all of your significant stakeholders so that either of your information needs is met and both parties comprehend details. Identify pieces of information they want and need to know. In addition to this, determine the best moment to equip them with that information with an effective structure. Lastly, coordinate with them what you expect from them and how you want their service to be provided and delivered.
  4. Benefits and Interests. We often hear the question, "What's in it for me?". This means that your stakeholders also want to know what benefits they can receive and how it can augment their vested interests. Always keep this question in mind to learn, know, and understand each of your stakeholder’s interests. Let them perceive how the success of your project can help them benefit them. As you go on with your project, continuously remind your stakeholders of the benefits they'll experience once you have completed the project. Let them know and see the progress your project has made toward achieving those benefits.

Risk to Stakeholders

Evaluating stakeholder involvement methods is required for project process outputs like risk management to steer clear of criticisms and negative feedback. Therefore, you may update and modify the stakeholder engagement plan to take into account developments in the stakeholder community.

The Stakeholder Register is the core outcome of this method.

Overall, this article sums up how to create an effective Stakeholder Register. That is by identifying stakeholders by regularly analyzing and documenting relevant information about them. These include their interests, involvement, connections, influence, and beneficial developments on the success of your project. The main output of the Identify Stakeholders process is the stakeholder register. Learn more about the role of stakeholders in project management through our courses in AVisualPMPAcademy.com. Sign up now!


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK 6thEdition
Stakeholder Relationship Management, A Maturity Model for OrganizationalImplementation, Lynda Bourne
Project Management, All-In-One, Dummies, 7 Books in one, Stanely E.Portny


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