Being able to keep track of people who are invested in your projects, regardless of whether they’re within your company or clients, is an important part of project management. You probably know these people best as stakeholders. They’re the ones who have some kind of vested interest in your project. It could be that they’re counting on the final product to help them land a big deal or they’ve hired you to build something. Regardless of what it is, stakeholders often seem to turn up at random times with questions or changes and, half the time, it seems like you’ve never even talked to them before.
This is where a stakeholder register comes in handy. The
is a stakeholder management document that contains everything you could ever want to know about the various stakeholders attached to your projects. This includes information like who they are, why they’re involved, and how to reach them should something go wrong. It’s an important part of your management strategy and should be included in your project management plan.
This critical document should be put together in the early stages of project planning to help everyone know the key players in the project. Of course, we love the idea of using templates to help with important documents like these.
What is a stakeholder register template in project management?
A stakeholder register template is a project management template that walks you through the creation of the stakeholder register and helps make sure that you capture all the important information about the various stakeholders.
Using a template to create the stakeholder register helps because you often need to collect very specific information about each stakeholder and, without the template to remind you which information you need, it can be easy to miss details that you’ll need down the road.
What are the benefits of a stakeholder register?
Stakeholder engagement is a never-ending process. We have to continually earn stakeholders’ confidence. It’s a relationship.
-Wouter Vermeulen, Former Corporate Responsibility Director, Health and Wellbeing, Coca Cola Europe.
The main benefit of the stakeholder register is that it helps you
. Because it contains everything you need to know about them, you have a document that basically tells you when you should reach out to individual stakeholders (or groups of stakeholders) when you have concerns, issues, questions, or ideas. The stakeholder register is ultimately an important part of your stakeholder management plan.
Rather than waiting for them to come to you with complaints because you guessed at something, you can take a proactive approach that shows you care about stakeholder input in your project.
Which information do you need to include about project stakeholders in the register?
The stakeholder register can end up being a bit of an unwieldy document because of the sheer number of stakeholders a project can have. But, if you’re careful, it’s an easy document to put together and aspects of it can easily be reused in the future. Let’s explore what a successful stakeholder register contains.
Stakeholder name and contact information
For each stakeholder, you need to list who they are and how you can get in touch with them. This helps for a couple of reasons. First, it lets you and the rest of the project team know who to turn to when you have questions. Having stakeholder contact information at hand means you don’t have to waste any time tracking down a phone number or email address.
It also helps you understand who this person is that’s asking team members all these questions about your project. When you’re deep into a project, it can sometimes seem like stakeholders are coming out of nowhere to ask questions and this information helps you understand why.
You should also list what kind of stakeholder each person is. Are they internal or external to your company? Are they a primary stakeholder (project sponsor, investor, customer, supplier, subject matter experts) or are they secondary (trade unions, governments, media groups). Each category requires specific kinds of information during the project lifecycle.
What does the stakeholder do and what is their role within the company? This might seem like an unimportant detail, but knowing this helps you understand how a stakeholder can help you move a project forward and how they can contribute to the overall success of a project. One of the big reasons for maintaining stronger relationships with your stakeholders is that they often have the power to make things happen for you. For example, if you’re struggling to get the extra server space you need for your project deliverables, you can reach out to the head of IT (who happens to be a stakeholder) and see if they can help.
Stakeholder influence on the project
This is somewhat related to the previous one, but it also isn’t. Knowing what power or level of influence a stakeholder holds over a project
be an important piece of information that helps you move things along, but it also tells you who you need to listen to. It can be easy to forget who the important stakeholders are when you need to report to half a dozen different people.
Stakeholder's requirements & expectations
Knowing what stakeholders expect (or require) from the project helps you push towards meeting those expectations and further develop the relationship. It also helps you know who to reach out to in case something happens and you can’t meet certain stakeholder expectations or requirements. When you can proactively reach out to stakeholders to chat about requirements, you can work on a collaborative plan to adapt based on the project reality.
Stakeholder communications plan
Every stakeholder is going to have different preferences when it comes to how you communicate with them and how often you reach out. Creating a communication plan within the
(like the linked example) helps you consistently reach stakeholders on their terms.
👉 Get started with this critical stakeholder register template.
After you copy this template, you can start utilizing this free stakeholder register template for your projects and business.
Coda's stakeholder register template
Step 1: Add stakeholders to register
The main part of this template is on the
page. After clicking on the
button, you can start filling out the details about the stakeholder. Unlike other stakeholder register templates, you can add images, use illustrations to indicate the “scale” of the row (see the
columns), and more. Once you have filled out the list of your stakeholders, click
in the top right of this template to share the stakeholder register with your team.
Step 2: View stakeholders by category
page, you can view the same list of stakeholders by the
you marked in Step 1 for each stakeholder. The “Category” of the stakeholder is important as it tells you who the stakeholder is in relation to the project. If you click on each “card” in the
page, you’ll see additional details about the stakeholder. This kanban board is connected to the main list of stakeholders in
, so if you make a change to a stakeholder’s category in the
, it will change the category on the
page as well.
Step 3: View stakeholders by interest/influence
page, you see your stakeholder register sorted by the
columns. These are “scale” columns (rate 1-3) that you filled out on the
page. This view is also connected to the
. This view gives you a way to prioritize the expectations, interests, and concerns of your stakeholders. Each view on this page is sorted from greatest to least to help you with prioritizing your communication plan with each stakeholder.
Stakeholder register template FAQs
Who are stakeholders?
Stakeholders are anyone who has an invested interest in your project. They could be the person who requested the project, the customer you’re working with, or even investors in your company. Typically, stakeholders are a mix of internal stakeholders and external stakeholders who are somehow involved with your project. Often, the first step of building the register is to identify stakeholders.
How do you create a stakeholder register?
The most effective way to create a stakeholder register is with a template. This way you capture all the necessary information about stakeholders in a consistent manner, without leaving out anything critical. You can build in important aspects of the process, like
, which helps you understand details like who they are, why they’re involved, and what their expectations are.
What are the different ways to categorize stakeholders?
How you categorize stakeholders depends largely on the type of business you’re running and the industry you’re in, but for the most part, there are four main categories:
Internal - Someone who’s within your company or organization.
External - Someone who’s outside of your company.
Primary - They have a direct involvement in the outcome of the project, like a customer or business owner.
Secondary - They don’t have a direct involvement, but they’re still involved. This is often things like regulatory groups or industry associations.
What is the difference between a stakeholder register and a stakeholder map?
The main difference between a stakeholder register and a stakeholder map is that a stakeholder map is a visual representation of stakeholders and their importance, where the stakeholder register is a document that helps you build the stakeholder relationship.
A stakeholder map is typically broken down into four sections that help you understand stakeholder influence and interest in a project (see below).
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