Tag Archives: SRMM

Papa Elf, the man behind the man, on stakeholder management

The-PenguinDoes Santa use the SRMM® maturity model to enhance his organisations stakeholder management practices?

This interview published in the ‘the penguin’ would suggest Papa Elf, the man behind the man, is at least acquainted with the Stakeholder® Circle methodology and his grotto organisation has achieved a high level of ‘Stakeholder Relationship Maturity’ – we will know for sure in a few days time……

To read the full interview with Papa Elf see: http://projectpenguindotorg.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/papa-elf-on-stakeholder-management/

4th Annual Nordic Project Zone Conference


Next week, I will be in Copenhagen, fulfilling an invitation to present at the Nordic Project Zone Summit 2013, which is taking place on 26-27 November at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia, Copenhagen. For more on the Summit, see: http://nordicprojectzone.com/

My presentation will focus on ‘Implementing effective stakeholder engagement: Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®)’. – download the presentation.

The ROI from investing in building an effective stakeholder management culture can be significant (see earlier post) and the SRMM® model is designed to help organisation develop an effective culture of engagement that works for them.

The good news is the SRMM® model is freely available under a creative commons licence! Originally proposed in my book Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation published by Gower. The basic model can be downloaded from http://www.stakeholdermapping.com/srmm-maturity-model/

After a week in chilly Copenhagen I will be looking forward to getting back to the warmth of an Australian Christmas.

Stakeholder Management Maturity

Recognition of the importance of stakeholder management has taken a huge leap forward since the release of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition.   The next challenge, addressed in this blog, is for organisations to be able to map their maturity with a view to improving their stakeholder management capabilities.

The PMBOK® Guide lays out the fundamental framework for effective stakeholder management and aligns fairly closely with the structure of the Stakeholder Circle® methodology we have been developing for the last decade. Within the PMBOK:

  • Process 13.1 deals with the identification of stakeholders and the creation of a stakeholder register.   This is directly supported by the Identify and Prioritise steps in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology. The key difference is the PMBOK tends to classify stakeholders based on simple 2×2 matrices, the Stakeholder Circle uses a more sophisticated analysis that prioritises stakeholders based on their importance to the project rather than just their attitude (positive or negative).
  • Process 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management, links the stakeholder management section of the PMBOK to the Communication  section and focuses on defining the current  attitude of each stakeholder, the realistically desirable attitude we would like the stakeholder to have, and the communication strategy needed to maintain satisfactory attitudes and beneficially change  attitudes that need improving.  These concepts directly align with the Visualise and Engage stages in the Stakeholder Circle methodology.
  • Then the hard work of effectively engaging and communicating with the important stakeholders begins (without ignoring the less important ones).  The planning, managing and controlling of communications (from Chapter 10) link to process 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement. Issues identification and management is a key element in this process and a core element in our Stakeholder Circle database tool.  The next upgrade of the Stakeholder Circle database tool will add a contact management module to facilitate the rest of this process.
  • The final process in the PMBOK® Guide, 13.4 is the standard PMBOK controlling process that actively encourages the regular review of the overall stakeholder management process and aligns exactly with Stage 5, Monitor changes in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology.  As with effective risk management, the environment needs to be continually scanned for emerging stakeholders, and if the current engagement strategies are not working with identified stakeholders, new ones need to be tried.

The good news is the framework we developed in the Stakeholder Circle® methodology nearly 10 years ago and the framework adopted by PMI in the PMBOK® Guide and most other competent stakeholder management methodologies all lay out the same basic steps.  And, as PMI claims for the PMBOK in general, these processes have become generally accepted good practice.

The challenge now is to build these good practices into the culture of organisations so they become simply ‘the way we do business’.  Maturity models such as P3M3, CMMI and OPM3 look at the stages of developing and implementing good practices in organisations.  The SRMM® Maturity Model has been designed to provide a similar framework for organisations seeking to develop an enhanced stakeholder management capability.

The five levels of the Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®) Model are:

  1. Ad hoc:  some use of processes
  2. Procedural:  focus on processes and tools
  3. Relational:  focus on the Stakeholders and mutual benefits
  4. Integrated:  methodology is repeatable and integrated across all programs and projects
  5. Predictive:  used for health checks and predictive risk assessment and management.

And for each level of maturity, the SRMM Model defines the key features, the good practice components, and the expected tools and reporting process expected at that level of maturity, together with some general guidance.

SRMM is designed to be an open system that would support any effective stakeholder management methodology (not just the Stakeholder Circle), which means SRMM is a useful tool for implementing a stakeholder management methodology based on the PMBOK’s processes as effectively as one using the more sophisticated capabilities of the  Stakeholder Circle.

The SRMM® Model is available for downloading and use by any organisation planning to implement effective stakeholder management under a free Creative Commons licence. Download you copy of the SRMM® Model.

Stakeholder Management Thesis

My original thesis has recently been published as a book by Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co (www.lappublishing.com).

Details of the book are:
Project Relationship Management and the Stakeholder Circle [Paperback]
ISBN-13: 978-3838398167
Available from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Project-Relationship-Management-Stakeholder-Circle/dp/3838398165/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282809735&sr=1-1

The research described in my thesis underpins the Stakeholder Circle methodology and tools which led to the publication of Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation and the SRMM maturity model available from Gower Publishing at http://www.gowerpub.com/isbn/9780566088643

Maturity Modelling

Mature organisations firstly select the right projects to do, then do them ‘right’. The pyramid of returns on effort demonstrates the power of investing time to ensure the right processes are in place to support the right people to do the right things.

Sourced from: Breaking through the Project FOG. Author, James Norrie, Published, Jossey-Bass. See: http://www.projectgurus.org/project-fog.html

Identifying, developing and using the right processes is a key factor in organisational maturity. Research by Carnegie Mellon University and the Software Quality Institute shows that organisations who improve their process maturity gain:

  • improved schedule and budget predictability
  • improved cycle time
  • increased productivity
  • improved quality (as measured by defects)
  • increased customer satisfaction
  • improved employee morale
  • increased return on investment
  • decreased cost of quality.

And the best way for an organisation to improve its process maturity, is to use a process maturity model. Three models seem to dominate, these are:

  • CMMI from Software Engineering Institute (SEI): Carnegie Mellon University. CMMI (and predecessors) has been used by organisations for many years, there is statistical proof of effectiveness and two approaches to maturity assessment (staged and continuous). CMMI is a systems engineering maturity model with project management as one aspect of systems delivery.
  • OPM3 from PMI: offers most comprehensive assessment and reporting, supported by software (OPM3 ProductSuite). OPM3 offers reports on a continuum of best practice by project, program and portfolio and by stages of improvement. OPM3 is a project, program and portfolio management model supported by hundreds of best practices. For more on OPM3 see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/OPM3.html
  • P3M3 from Office of Government Commerce UK (OGC): offers a staged approach that supports an organization’s journey through progressive maturity in all three domains. P3M3 is more aspirational in its approach, lacking some of the rigor and detail of the other two systems.

For a more in-depth discussion see: Modelling Your Maturity, P3M3, CMMI and/or OPM3

These basic processes closely align with my SRMM model for Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity. For more on this see: http://www.stakeholdermapping.com/

Maturity modelling is an important step to attaining process maturity, the challeng is choosing the best model.

The PMI Marketplace now selling Stakeholder Relationship Management

PMI has selected Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation for its on-line book store and will be promoting the book at the PMI EMEA congress in Milan (10-12 May).

I will be in Milan for the congress to present on ‘The future of the PM Hero’ followed by my SeminarsWorld® workshop ‘The science and art of communicating effectively’.

I will be happy to sign copies of the book for anyone who buys a copy during the congress and look forward to exploring the delights of Italy.

Stakeholder Management with apologies to Dr. Seuss

When beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle…
…they call this a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.
Excerpted from: Tweetle Beetles, ‘The Fox in Socks’, by Dr Seuss

The connection between a book written to be read to under 5s and business stakeholder management is the ‘puddle muddle’ otherwise known as the stakeholder pool. The challenge of managing stakeholders is a factor of the disturbance caused by dozens if not hundreds of battles most of which, the person attempting to efficiently manage his or her stakeholders has no control over whatsoever.

Most stakeholder management methodologies start by assessing the stakeholder from the perspective of the work. This is not unreasonable but can easily miss many important factors.

The Stakeholder Pool

Figure 1: The Stakeholder Pool

Figure 1 shows ‘the stakeholder’ in the overall stakeholder pool being influenced by the ripples created by your battle in your part of the pool (your puddle). Unfortunately the stakeholder pool is a much bigger, more turbulent place.

Figure 2: the Stakeholder Pool with turbulance

Figure 2: the Stakeholder Pool with turbulence

Show some of the other disturbances in the pool and you start to see the stakeholder buffeted by waves and impacts from all directions, in Figure 2. ‘The stakeholder’ is continually being buffeted by waves from other projects, the organisation and many other influences. These other waves are one of the prime reasons stakeholder responses to your perfectly reasonable needs or suggestions are frequently so unpredictable. All of these influences, both current and past have helped shape the stakeholders perceptions and attitudes towards your industry, your organisation and ultimately, you.

Consequently, a single view point is really not sufficient! Effective stakeholder management needs an organisational approach. Successful stakeholder management requires all of the influences perceived by the stakeholder to be coordinated and authentic. And this can only be achieved by the organisation as a whole adopting mature, ethical stakeholder management as a core discipline.

Very little has been written about mature organisational stakeholder management until recently. To date, the focus of most papers have been one dimensional focusing on CRM and the ‘customer experience’ or one dimensional focusing on the relationship between the stakeholder and a project (or other organisational activity).

A new book, Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation, by Dr. Lynda Bourne takes this next step to define the interaction between the organisation as a whole and its stakeholders using the Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®) model.

Effective and ethical stakeholder management cannot happen overnight and cannot happen in isolation. The preconceived perceptions of stakeholders towards your work are based on multiple experiences over an extended period of time, and the stakeholder-to-stakeholder conversations that occur outside of your hearing or control. To actively improve these conversations and create a positive and supportive stakeholder environment needs a long term consistent effort, organisation wide.

Bourne’s SRMM model offers a practical framework that can be used by organisations to build from ad hoc, single project attempts to manage stakeholders to a situation where stakeholder management is a core skill used by the organisation as a whole to maintain a competitive advantage. As with any culture change, this cannot happen overnight but at least Dr. Bourne’s new book provides a road map organisations can use to improve their management of stakeholder relationships to the benefit of both the stakeholders and the organisation.

Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation is published by Gower, ISBN: 978-0-566-08864-3

Travel Update – Tokyo

It has been 3 long weeks on the road…….

First port of call was Boston USA for the PMI College of Scheduling conference. The conference attracted well over 200 people; the numbers were down from 2008 in Chicago but not bad for the middle of a recession. My paper Scheduling in the Age of Complexity was well received and there was a wide range of other papers and key note addresses of interest. The College’s work on its Scheduling Excellence Initiative (SEI)  was progressed and is moving towards the completion of the first stage.

Second stop was the UK for 2 key meetings and some family time. The first meeting was with the CIOB manager developing their guide to scheduling good practice – this standard will have significantly more focus on the practice of scheduling than the current PMI Practice Standard. Whilst the standard will be specifically aimed at the construction industry, my feeling is the content will have wide application. More on this later….

My second UK meeting was with Gower Publishing Ltd to discuss the marketing of Dr. Lynda Bourne’s book, Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation. The book will be available in September and pre-publicity will commence soon.

This last week has been in Tokyo as part of the Australian delegation contributing to ISO 21500: A Guide to Project Management. Multi-national committee work can be frustrating but the feeling at the end of 5 intense days was good progress had been made building consensus and the body of the standard was close to being technically complete. As soon as the contents are signed off, the team I work on will finalise the language and glossary and subject to a vote of all of the nations involved, move the standard forward to a formal committee draft. Developing an ISO standard is a slow process, the likely date for publication will be late 2012 by the time the standard has moved through all of the drafts needed to ensure international acceptance. ISO 21500 is designed as an overarching standard to help bring coordination and commonality to the various underlaying national and industry standards such as the PMBOK® Guide.

Now all I need is a quite flight back to Australia and its back to the backlog of mail and business. More later.

Success and Stakeholders

I have been putting the hard yards into finishing my new book on Stakeholder Relationship Management Maturity (SRMM®) over the holiday period and have been considering the relationship between success and stakeholders.

One potential conclusion is that success is gifted to you by your stakeholders, you have to earn the gift but there is no way of knowing for sure if it will be granted. This means as a project manager, sports person or business executive, you have to put the effort in to ‘win’ by delivering ‘on-time and on-budget’, finishing first or achieving the planned objective; but achievement on its own does not translate to success. Success is when your achievement is acknowledged by your key stakeholders and they declare it a ‘success’.

Some of the world’s most famous buildings were project management disasters, but they are now considered outstanding successes. The Sydney Opera House overran time, overran budget and the original scope not achieved. The London Eye needed an additional £48 million loan from British Airways to finance is construction in addition to the original capital raising and was months late in opening to the public (in 2005 BA sold its share of the project for £95m and waived £60m of unpaid interest).

Success seems to come from a combination of two factors. One is delivering something of real value to the stakeholder. The other is when a critical mass of key stakeholders recognises the value and appreciates it. Value is not a synonym for ‘on-time and on-budget’ these two factors only matter to the extent that they impact on the usefulness of the outcome when it’s actually used by the stakeholders. Certainly time and money may be important, more often they are not; particularly if a longer term view of benefits realisation is considered. Benefits are realised when the product is actually used and this requires the relevant stakeholder’s participation in actually using the product or output to achive the intended outcomes.

Another important factor in achieving success is meeting the stakeholder’s expectations. This involves identifying and managing their expectations (unrealistic expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled) which in turn requires effective two-way communication. But the stakeholder community for any business activity can be huge.

Three groups of Stakeholders

Three groups of Stakeholders

There are a vast number of potential stakeholders who you don’t know and can’t see. This group is often considered as ‘classes’ of stakeholder such as ‘the public’. The only way to reach individual people this group is through broadcasting messages in a similar way to a corporation advertising it brand image to a general audience. Businesses see this activity as Public Relations (PR) or Marketing. In project space, this is the casual audience for general project newsletters, headlines on a project web page and the corporations ‘rumour mill’.

A sub-set of the overall group are the people you know you need to positively influence. In business these groups are the focus of targeted advertising campaigns with specific ‘calls to action’. In project space they may be groups such as the end users of a new system. You need to ‘sell the benefits’ of the product or project to this group so they buy-in to the concept and appreciate the value of the outcome you are creating. There are still too many for one-on-one communication but a carefully planned ‘sales campaign’ associated with effective change management and similar initiatives are critical if you expect a successful outcome. Many of this group may be recipients of routine monthly reports and the like but more is needed; you need to create positive expectations and then deliver on them.

The smallest and most important group are the key stakeholders who wield significant influence or power. This group require targeted one-on-one communication to build and foster positive relationships. It’s a two way process, you need support from them, they need to appreciate the benefits your project or activity will deliver. The Stakeholder Circle® methodology and tools are focused on identifying the ‘right’ stakeholders at the ‘right’ time in a project for this critical communication activity. Failure with this group will generally cause your project to fail and before you can ‘win’ you first have to ‘not lose’!

However, the thought in this blog is these key people are probably not enough on their own to declare the final result of your efforts and outstanding success. Real success requires buy-in from a much larger group of stakeholders, such as the 30 million visitors who have ‘flown’ on the London Eye.  But is your organisation mature enough to support the type of structured communication needed to achieve this level of success?

My SRMM® construct addresses the maturity of an organisation to engage in effective stakeholder relationship management and this is a critical start. The bigger question is who’s responsible for the wider communication: the project team, the change manager, the sponsor or the organisation?  Achieving real success is definitely a lot more complex than just being on-time and on-budget….  Perhaps this could be the subject for another book?