Stakeholder management is a critical component to the successful delivery of any project, programme or activity that successful architects can use to win support from others. It helps them ensure that their projects succeed where others fail. A stakeholder is any individual, group or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a programme. In a nutshell, stakeholder management comprises four steps:
- Identify, recognize and acknowledge stakeholder;
- Determine their influence and interest;
- Establish a communication management plan
- Influencing and engaging stakeholder
Benefits of Stakeholder Management
The benefits of successful stakeholder management are:
- The most powerful stakeholders can be identified early and their input can then be used to shape the architecture; this ensures their support and improves the quality of the models produced.
- Support from the more powerful stakeholders will help the engagement win more resources; thus making the architecture engagement more likely to succeed.
- By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, the architecture team can ensure that they fully understand the architecture process and the benefits of enterprise architecture; this means they can support the architecture team more actively when necessary.
- The architecture team can more effectively anticipate likely reactions to the architecture models and reports and can build into the plan the actions that will be needed to capitalize on positive reaction whilst avoiding or addressing any negative reactions.
- The architecture team can identify conflicting or competing objectives among stakeholders early and develop a strategy to resolve the issues arising from them.
Four Steps Stakeholder Management in TOGAF
In TOGAF, the stakeholder management technique should be used during Phase A to identify the key players in the engagement, and also be updated throughout each phase. The output of this process forms the start of the Communications Plan which will be explained later.
Step 1: Identify Stakeholders
Stakeholders may be both organizations and people, ultimately you must communicate with people. Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within a stakeholder organization.
- People and organizations that are affected by work.
- May have the power either to block or advance.
- May be interested, others may not care.
The first task is to determine who the main enterprise architecture stakeholders are.
A sample stakeholder analysis that distinguishes 22 types of stakeholder, in five broad categories, is shown in as shown in the Figure.
Step 2: Classify Stakeholder Positions
You now need to know more about your key stakeholders. You need to know how they are likely to feel about and react to your project. You also need to know how best to engage them in your project and how best to communicate with them.
Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are:
- What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative
- What motivates those most of all?
- What information do they want from you?
- How do they want to receive information from you? What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
- What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information?
- Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you? Do some of these influencers, therefore, become important stakeholders in their own right?
- If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
- If you don’t think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
- Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?
Develop a good understanding of the most important stakeholders and record this analysis (as shown in the example in the table below) for reference and refresh during the project.
||Ability to Disrupt the Change
Step 3: Determine Stakeholder Management Approach
This step enables the team to easily see which stakeholders are expected to be blockers or critics, and which stakeholders are likely to be advocates and supporters of the initiative.
Work out stakeholder power and interest, to focus the enterprise architecture engagement on the key individuals. These can be mapped onto a power/interest matrix, which also indicates the strategy you need to adopt for engaging with them.
Stakeholders may be mapped out on a Power/Interest Grid and classified by their power and interest. There are other tools to map out stakeholders and how to influence them. For example, your boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. Your family may have high interest, but are unlikely to have power over it.
Position on the grid may show actions:
- High power / interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy.
- High power / less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied, but not so much that they become bored with your message.
- Low power / interested people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
- Low power / less interested people: again, monitor these people, but do not bore them with excessive communication.
Step 4: Tailor Engagement Deliverables
Stakeholder management within businesses, organizations, or projects prepares a strategy using information (or intelligence) gathered during the following common processes. With a clear understanding of your Stakeholders, engaging and communicating can be achieved through a variety of channels based upon who the stakeholder is.
- High power, interested people: Manage closely. Best channels: Issue, Change Logs, Status Meetings
- High power, less interested people: Keep satisfied. Best channels: Steering Committee, Board Meeting Updates
- Low power, interested people: Keep informed. Best channels: In-Person, Video, Email Updates
- Low power, less interested people: Monitor. Best channels: Send Email, Status Reports
Enterprise architectures contain large volumes of complex and interdependent information. Effective communication of targeted information to the right stakeholders at the right time is a critical success factor for enterprise architecture. In TOGAF, the development of a Communications Plan for architecture in Phase A allows for this communication to be carried out within a planned and managed process.
Typical contents of a Communications Plan are:
- Identification of stakeholders and grouping by communication requirements
- Identification of communication needs, key messages to the Architecture Vision, communication risks, and Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
- Identification of mechanisms that will be used to communicate with stakeholders and allow access to architecture information, such as meetings, newsletters, repositories, etc.
- Identification of a communications timetable, showing which communications will occur with which stakeholder groups at what time and in what location
||Project Kickoff Meeting
||Start of project
||Program Management Office
||Both Team and Client Kickoff meetings recommended
||Program Management Office
||Include project schedule, key project deliverables, meeting minutes, change request log, issues log
||Executive Steering Committee
||Monthly – first Wednesday of each month
||Review status, milestones met, earned value indicators, key issues
||· Status Meetings
· Status Report (email)
|Weekly – Friday 2 pm
||Review project status, schedule, change requests, issues
||Weekly – Friday 11 am
||Provides input for a subsequent meeting with the client sponsor
||Weekly – Friday
||Project Management Office
|Client Sponsor / Key Client Stakeholders
||Client Satisfaction Survey
||Monthly/End of each phase
||Account Manager / Project Manager
||· Informal (monthly)
· Formal (end of each phase)
Identify catalogs, matrices, and diagrams that the architecture engagement needs to produce and validate with each stakeholder group to deliver an effective architecture model.
It is important to pay particular attention to stakeholder interests by defining specific catalogs, matrices, and diagrams that are relevant for a particular enterprise architecture model. This enables the architecture to be communicated to, and understood by, all the stakeholders, and enables them to verify that the enterprise architecture initiative will address their concerns.