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Submitted by SteveAnderson on


BLUF: How do I standardize and measure the stakeholder relationship management process?

I manage a team of people whose primary job is stakeholder relationship management and advocacy.  Secondarily, we focus on requirements gathering and delivery of an information sharing platform (around which the SRM efforts are focused).  We've never had a formalized, measurable process for our SRM efforts and, because of a technical project the organization has been focused on for the past year or so, we've slowly slipped away from doing to the people work and into doing technical work.  Recently, we've had some blowups with our stakeholder base that could have been mitigated by stronger relationships and now I've been charged with reinvigorating our efforts there while keeping up the current pace with our technical efforts.

To me, relationships largely seem to be a function of consistent frequency and duration of communication and I also think there's much to be said for someone knowing their stakeholders and what works for them.  So I guess what I'm struggling with is how to create a standard that I can collect reporting on and measure without trying to create something so precise that it doesn't serve the stakeholder (and, by extension, the organization).

Thoughts or suggested readings?

dmb41carter36's picture

BTW - what is SRM?

When I was in sales they used to count touches with a point system. I don't remember the exact system but the logic is as follows.  A phone call was worth 1 point. A drop in (unscheduled solicitation) at a place without meeting with the person was worth 3 points. A drop-in (unscheduled) where you got to talk to the decision maker was worth 5 points. An appointment you got with the DM was worth 15. Their logic was that if you spent 200 points by the end of the month you should have $15,000 dollars in sales. They had quantified the way to get to your sales quota.

Perhaps you can also measure time spent in meetings, conf calls, etc. with the stakeholders. You then set up a target of 4 hours of contact per person per week and measure weekly.

You could also come up with a standard time/touch method for your stakeholders. For example, I will email in week 1, in week 2 I will call, in week 3 I will schedule a phone conference, in week 4 I will schedule a face to face.

Obviously, I don't know your business to see if this would work.  Hopefully it may provide you with some type of quantified analysis.

SteveAnderson's picture
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Thanks for the input.  SRM is stakeholder relationship management. Initially, our job was much more like sales where we were going to conferences to build awareness and "selling" the platform (though it's free for use to stakeholders).  Now we're just maintaining the existing relationships with the stakeholders and establishing new ones with their successors.

I think the basic model you laid out is a great starting point.  I can start to incorporate this into our weekly report. The added complexity is that we have specific stakeholders who need managing (off the top of my head, I probably have about 100-120 that I need to talk to every month) so I'll have to think on a way I can collect on that without turning the weekly report into a monster.