PgMP- Program Stakeholder Engagement

Program Stakeholder Engagement is the performance domain that identifies and analyzes stakeholder needs and manages expectations and communications to foster stakeholder support. It includes the following 

  • Program Stakeholder Identification
  • Program Stakeholder Analysis
  • Program Stakeholder Engagement Planning
  • Program Stakeholder Engagement
  • Program Stakeholder Communications

A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization that may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project, program, or portfolio. Stakeholders may be internal or external to the program and may have a positive or negative impact on the outcome of the program. Program and project managers need to be aware of the stakeholders' impact and level of influence to understand and address the changing environments of programs and projects. Stakeholders should be identified, analyzed, categorized, and monitored. Unlike program resources, not all stakeholders can be managed directly-but their expectations can be. In many cases, external stakeholders have more influence than the program manager, the program team, and even the program sponsor. Balancing stakeholder interests is important, considering their potential impact on program benefits realization or the inherent conflicting nature of those interests. People have a tendency to resist direct management when the relationship does not have a hierarchical affiliation. For this reason, most program management literature focuses on the notion of stakeholder engagement rather than stakeholder management.

Stakeholder engagement is often expressed as direct and indirect communication among the stakeholder and the program's leaders and team. Engagement with the program team may be performed by people with different roles in the program and project teams. Stakeholder engagement, however, includes more than just communication. For example, stakeholders can be engaged by involving them in goal setting, quality analysis reviews, or other program activities. The primary objective is to gain and maintain stakeholder buy-in for the program's objectives, benefits, and outcomes.