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The unknown… stakeholder

In a recent event ( of our series concerning the new PMBOK® Guide – Seventh edition, the speaker, Antje Lehmann-Benz, mentioned that the stakeholders are seen differently in PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition as they were defined in former issues. And yes, that is right. In the PMBOK Guide – Sixth Edition, stakeholders were handled in their own knowledge area in the Standard section. And now, the topics around stakeholders are, on the one hand, a Project Management Principle in the Standard section, and a Project Management Performance Domain in the Guide on the other hand. In general, the new PMBOK Guide really emphasizes the higher importance of stakeholders. They are the people we project managers want to create benefits for. There is no one else. Hence, we should know them. But who are they? Who fits into the new definition of stakeholders?

If we investigate the part 2.1 Stakeholder Performance Domain, especially on page 9 in the figure 2-2, we still see the project team as stakeholders (s. PMBOK® Guide (2021), p. 9). And even in part Identify on page 11 it is mentioned that we first must conduct a stakeholder identification to find the project team members (ibid.). But already in 2.1.1 Stakeholder Engagement on page 10 you can guess a different view. Here, it is mentioned, that we should consider "actions to promote productive involvement of stakeholders" (s. PMBOK® Guide (2021), p. 10). Is this necessary for project team members, who of course are involved? Although in Identify on page 11 project team members are mentioned as stakeholders, one paragraph later in Understand and Analyze and on the same page, they are excluded: "the project team should seek to understand stakeholders' feelings" (s. PMBOK® Guide (2021), p. 11). Even the next performance domain (2.2 Team performance domain) deals only with the project team! Here we can see the other view on the project team members, as they are different from other stakeholders: And as the project team should be seen different from other stakeholders, we can have a closer look at how we will manage and lead the team, and how we encourage and envision the team members. There are lots of hints for how we create a high-performance team with a satisfying culture – as we project managers should act like servant leaders to enable the performance of the team – as speaker Stephanie Jaeger suggested in the event on 17th Feb 2022.


[PMBOK® Guide (2021)] Project Management Institute (2021) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Seventh Edition. Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA 

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