Creating a proper stakeholder management plan for construction projects should be common practice. This plan helps you (and others involved) understand which parties are influenced by your project, how, and in what way they can affect what you are doing. It is part of your stakeholder management strategy, and the main guide for all forms of interaction with everyone involved.
At SitePodium, we prefer the term ‘stakeholder engagement’, because you will benefit greatly from including your stakeholders in your project’s timelines and allowing them to have a say. In this article, we will show you how you make a good stakeholder management plan for your construction project, so you can start engaging with all relevant parties involved.
What is a stakeholder management plan in construction projects?
Before we dive into all the practicalities, it is useful to give a clear definition of what a stakeholder management plan in construction projects is. A stakeholder management plan consists of a summary of all your stakeholders, their expectations from you and the ways they are interested in or influenced by what happens at your building site.
Based on that information, you make a classification by prioritisation. The stakeholders with the highest priority will have the largest effect on your project. Every stakeholder gets their own action plan and communication plan, depending on their priority.
These are the most important parts of your construction project’s stakeholder management plan.
- List of all stakeholders (indirect and direct) involved
- List of expectation per stakeholder
- Prioritisation of the stakeholders, from high-influence and high-interest to low-influence and low-interest
- Action plans
- Communication plans
- Reporting and monitoring
How does this benefit you?
You will benefit in several ways from creating a complete stakeholder management plan for your construction project. You have a list of all the parties involved, so you cannot forget or exclude anyone. On top of that, you know per stakeholder what their interest is in your project and what they expect from you.
With that you are able to communicate with them suitably; you anticipate their needs and gain their trust, because you understand them better. That leads to a successful project without too many hick-ups.
The first stakeholder management plan for your construction project functions as a solid foundation for the next one. Once you have taken the time to make one stakeholder management plan for your current construction project, you will use that same template again and again in the future.
Creating a stakeholder management plan for your next construction project
It is clear that every construction project benefits greatly from applying a stakeholder management plan. We will show you how to make one, in five simple steps.
1. Who are your stakeholders?
The first thing that you do is to make a list of all the stakeholders involved in your construction project. It is a register of names, roles, and contact information per stakeholder. This will take some time, but it will be worth it.
Make sure you include all your stakeholders, so the large ones and the small ones, the indirect ones and the direct ones. If you want, you can already add an indication of how the stakeholder can influence the success of your project. Every stakeholder management plan in a construction project begins with a complete list of every party it affects.
2. A stakeholder prioritisation
Next, you have to organise your stakeholders in such a way that you can decide which ones need the most attention. The way you do this, is up to you, but we suggest that you organise them by their influence and interest.
You may have to hold meetings with your stakeholders, to learn more about them and their motivations. This is all documented in your stakeholder register. With this information you are able to group your stakeholders. We recommend using the following four groups.
- All the stakeholders with a large influence on and a high interest in your project are part of the first group. They play an important part in how successful your project will be.
- There are also stakeholders who can influence your project greatly, but they have no interest in it. These are your second group.
- The stakeholders in your third group have a strong interest in your project, but do not have the power to influence it much.
- The last group of stakeholders cannot influence your project and are also not interested to do so.
3. Your communication plans
You now have a complete overview of all the stakeholders in your construction project and the manner in which they influence it or are interested in it. This is the basis for your complete stakeholder management plan and a register you will continuously go back to, update and consult.
Now you can start recording how you want to communicate with these stakeholders. You do that by making separate communication plans. They make up the heart of your stakeholder management plan, because they tell you exactly which manner and degree of engagement is suitable for whom.
Your plan includes information on the type, frequency and format of communication that is suitable per stakeholder. It lists the people involved, it appoints owners and there is a clear distribution plan. It is these communication plans which will make or break the success of your stakeholder engagement effort. Make sure you spend enough time on them.
4. Make a schedule and implement
You are now almost ready to implement the stakeholder engagement plan for your construction project. The only thing you still need is a clear timeline and schedule. This schedule holds all the stakeholder engagement deadlines. Make sure you do not only schedule for one-way communication, but also for asking for feedback from your stakeholders. Once you are confident everything is in place, you can implement your plan.
5. Monitoring progress
Now that your plan is live, there is no time to sit back and relax. Monitoring is just as important. You regularly review how it is going, adjust your schedules and anticipate on what might happen. You verify if all the deadlines are met and if all the promises have been kept.
The stakeholder management plan you made for your project is a live document, that allows for changes, adjustments, additions and improvements. You keep a close eye on it until the end of your project. Then you wrap up by asking for feedback and ways to improve in the future.
Stakeholder engagement needs to be a 360-degree affair and it means you will have to reflect and re-evaluate your own actions as well. Be transparent, honest and fulfil your promises. Make your stakeholders feel heard, relevant and important. Good stakeholder engagement will help you run a smoother project, time and time again.
Engage your stakeholders with SitePodium
Integrate the stakeholder management plan you created for your construction project into our stakeholder engagement app. With SitePodium you bring all your stakeholders together, keep them informed and give them a chance to respond. Show them your schedule, create a newsfeed for all members to interact and provide them with the contacts they need.
SitePodium is an app which coincides perfectly with the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme in the UK. It gives its users a continuous update on what you are doing and planning. Your engagement manager decides who has access to what. Stakeholder engagement is easier, more transparent and more interactive with SitePodium.
We suggest you book a demo or download our brochure if you want to know more about our app a the ways it can help you engage your stakeholders. We are keen to hear about you and your experience, so feel free to contact us and get the ball rolling.