How Mature Are You? 5 Levels of Stakeholder Engagement You Need to Know
Most organisations set criteria that allow to measure the level of organisational maturity in software development and project management. When it comes to stakeholder engagement, there is a 5-level maturity model that can help you understand where you are today, where you should go and how you can get there.
Stakeholder engagement is a crucial part of effective project management. The basic definition describes it as “the process used by an organisation to engage relevant stakeholders for a purpose to achieve accepted outcomes.” However, today this term covers a broader and more inclusive process between a company and those potentially impacted that encompasses a range of activities and spans the entire life of a project.
Stakeholder engagement is not an end in itself, but a means to build better relationships with the societies in which we operate, ultimately resulting in improved business planning and performance.
It’s evident that organisations should place stakeholder engagement in the centre of their culture. Unfortunately, few organisations are successful in training senior practitioner in advanced techniques for winning stakeholders over.
The first step to creating an advanced stakeholder engagement culture is understanding the maturity level of your organisational culture. It typically falls into 5 levels (as described by Mike Clayton):
Level 1: Ad Hoc
Work is done independently by individuals. Tools are shared informally and freely adapted; little or no uniformity.
Level 2: Novice
There are few guidelines on stakeholder engagement management with little or no substantial training available.
Level 3: Repeatable
First documentation of stakeholder engagement policies and procedures is produced, with responsibilities allocated and some training available.
Level 4: Managed
Clear metrics are established to guide implementation and decision making. Formal procedures are followed and individual levels of expertise are recognised, with formal training and development available.
Level 5: Embedded
Stakeholder engagement is embedded in all organisational processes and is a part of the day-to-day culture. Knowledge, skills and techniques are constantly reviewed, with the senior practitioners regarded as leading experts.
How mature is your organisation? What training does your organisation give to senior practitioners for managing stakeholder engagement?