How it Works

5 Steps to Manage Stakeholder Expectations

The Stakeholder Circle® is based on the premise that the success of a project business enterprise can only occur with the informed consent of its stakeholder community. This community comprises individuals and groups, each with a different potential to influence the project’s outcome.

The Stakeholder Circle has been devised to offer a mechanism for assessing the relative influence of each of the key stakeholders and planning ways to engage with and manage their expectations/contributions. The benefit of using this tool is derived in part from the analysis process itself as well as from the ease with which the influence of key stakeholders on the project can be judged once the Stakeholder Circle diagram is complete.

The tool facilitates the regular updating of this assessment as the stakeholder community changes to reflect the dynamic nature of the project and its relationships. Changes and trends are tracked over time to help the team identify which engagement strategies are working and which need reviewing. The key steps in this process are:


A list of the project’s stakeholders is developed by the project team and is input to the Stakeholder Circle tool. The tool guides the collection of other information including the project role of each stakeholder and what they require from the project as well as their significance to the project


The assessment of each stakeholder based on ratings from the project team of the stakeholder’s perceived power, proximity and urgency, produces an ‘index’ for each stakeholder, which is used to produce the prioritized list of stakeholders.


The top 15 stakeholders from the prioritized list are mapped to the Stakeholder Circle, showing their order of importance along with a depiction of their power, proximity and relative influence – a form of ‘stakeholder radar’.


Next, the project team need to ensure that the expectations of key stakeholders are understood, acknowledged, and managed. The software supports the assessment of each stakeholder’s support for the project (either positive or negative) as well as their receptiveness to messages about the project. This information provides the foundation for the development of a tailored communication plan.

Monitor and Review

Once the communication plan has been developed, the project team can monitor its effectiveness by mapping changes in the levels of support and receptiveness of each stakeholder, over time – is the communications plan producing the required results or should it be reviewed and updated?

The data held in the tool facilitates regular reviews that help keep the project and its key stakeholders aligned.

To learn more, you can book Dr. Lynda Bourne to speak at your event.

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