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Programme Management for Owner Teams authors Freek van Heerden, Jurie Steyn and Davida van der Walt explore stakeholder alignment challenges on a programme.

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The ultimate objective of stakeholder management is to ensure successful execution of the programme by engaging the right people that could influence or impact the success or failure of the programme at the right time.

On programmes the following stakeholder challenges are typical:

  • Key stakeholders that could impact programme success are overseen and only identified one it becomes a crisis
  • Stakeholder identification and  stakeholder management engagement planning is done at the start of the programme and not updated through the programme life cycle

In reality we have found sponsors do not always take their role seriously in managing stakeholder relations that are of diplomatic or strategic nature.  The sponsor can play a huge role in pro-actively keeping key stakeholders abreast of the programme objectives and status, and avoiding stakeholder misalignment.

To ensure effective stakeholder identification and management:

  1. Stakeholder management on a programme should never be an ad-hoc activity or event. It should be a structured, yet dynamic process managed on a continuous basis throughout the lifecycle of the programme
  2. Stakeholder identification and engagement should consider company internal stakeholders, contractors and service providers as well as external interested and effected parties.
  3. The project team should consider who has an interest in the programme (positive or negative), and who could influence the success of the programme through exerting formal or informal power on the programme.


For more practical lessons on programme management, please take a look at our book on the subject Programme Management for Owner Teams available on Amazon.