Stakeholders: how to select, classify and engage them: a pragmatic approach to influencing successful project outcomes in museums

How-to Session
Wendy Pryor, Museums Victoria, Australia

Published paper: Stakeholders: How to select, classify, and engage them for successful project outcomes in museums

Projects in museums have and need stakeholders to define and review their requirements and outputs and to deliver successful outcomes. Careful analysis and selection of stakeholders should be carried out referencing the scale and type of project and the culture of the museum in which the project is to be delivered. Key definitions and four tools to facilitate the process of stakeholder engagement and management will be presented. First is the identification and classification of stakeholders as contributors, creators, and consumers to ensure that no one is forgotten. Second, consideration of their likely influence over or interest in the project will start to suggest an approach to their involvement. Third, stakeholders who will influence a project can be divided into groups to be informed, engaged, or consulted. Expectations about the results of the engagement process can be socialised with them, the methods of communicating can be selected for maximum effectiveness, and their agreement can be gained. Finally, classification of the roles for the stakeholders who are part of the project delivery team can be achieved using a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform) chart to define overall responsibilities for the creation and signoff of deliverables. The key premise is that clarity about stakeholder roles and responsibilities, with their agreement, at the start of the project will maximise the project’s likelihood of success.