Such processes are extensively covered in the Program Management Professional (PgMP) exam, a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).

Table of Contents

Understanding Stakeholders in Program Management

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations that may affect or be affected by the program. They can either influence the program’s outcome or be impacted by it. Stakeholders include customers, sponsors, program managers, project teams, and others. Identification of all these parties is crucial in order to make informed decisions during the execution of the program.

Identification of Stakeholders and Sponsors

Stakeholders identification involves recognizing all those who have a vested interest in the program, including the key individuals or groups that have power, influence, and interest in the program execution and outcome. This process typically involves:

  • Identifying stakeholders who can affect or are affected by the program.
  • Determining their expectations and impact.
  • Identifying their level of influence and interest.
  • Documenting the information in a stakeholder register.

The sponsors, on the other hand, are generally top-level management personnel responsible for making key decisions and providing necessary funding for the program.

Creating a Stakeholder Matrix

Creating a stakeholder matrix involves plotting the stakeholders according to their power and interest related to the program. The aim is to help the program manager to visualize stakeholders’ influence and interest in order to manage them effectively.

Here is an example of the stakeholder matrix:

High Power, High Interest: These are key players who have a high degree of influence on the program and are highly interested in its outcome. They need full engagement and maximum communication.
High Power, Low Interest: These are individuals who hold a high level of power but are not very interested in the program. They need to be satisfied but not overwhelmed with communication.
Low Power, High Interest: These are individuals who have little influence but are very interested in the program outcome. Though they may not be able to disrupt the program, it’s still essential to keep them informed.
Low Power, Low Interest: These stakeholders might have little influence on or interest in the program. But they should not be ignored. It’s still beneficial to monitor them and provide necessary communication.

Considering the stakeholder matrix during the planning stage helps program managers to develop a better communication plan, manage risks, make informed decisions, and work toward successful execution of the program.


Stakeholder identification and documentation in a stakeholder matrix are invaluable; they provide important insights in determining the stakeholders’ roles and interests in the program. This process ultimately impacts the communication strategy and success of the project. Hence, it is an essential topic that every candidate needs to grasp in the preparation for the PgMP exam.

Practice Test

True or False: Stakeholders in a program only include the sponsors.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: Stakeholders in a program include not only sponsors, but also customers, team members, suppliers, communities, and any individual or group that can influence or are affected by the program.

What is the purpose of creating a stakeholder matrix?

  • A. To identify the potential risks in a program.
  • B. To document the position of each stakeholder relative to the program.
  • C. To create a schedule for the program.
  • D. To track the budget of the program.

Answer: B. To document the position of each stakeholder relative to the program.

Explanation: A stakeholder matrix is used as a project management tool to identify and classify stakeholders and document their relative position and interest in the program.

Who are usually the sponsors in a program?

  • A. The team members
  • B. The suppliers
  • C. The individuals or organizations that fund the program
  • D. The customers

Answer: C. The individuals or organizations that fund the program.

Explanation: Sponsors are typically individuals or organizations that provide funding and overall direction for the program. They are key stakeholders in the program.

True or False: The stakeholder matrix captures the power, interest and influence of each stakeholder.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True.

Explanation: The stakeholder matrix is a tool used in stakeholder analysis to understand and classify stakeholder’s power, interest and influence in relation to the program.

Which of the following are important steps in identifying stakeholders for a program?

  • A. Identifying all potentially affected parties
  • B. Understanding stakeholder’s influence and interest
  • C. Classifying stakeholders into groups
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: These are all steps involved in identifying stakeholders for a program. Once they are identified, their influence and interest can be understood, and they can be classified into groups for better management.

True or False: All stakeholders have the same level of interest and influence in a program.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: Each stakeholder has a different level of interest and influence in a program, and this can be captured in the stakeholder matrix.

The stakeholder matrix only includes external stakeholders. True or False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: False.

Explanation: The stakeholder matrix includes both internal and external stakeholders. Any individual or organization that can impact or be impacted by the program should be included in the stakeholder matrix.

Which of the following is not a component of a comprehensive stakeholder matrix?

  • A. Stakeholder interrelations.
  • B. Stakeholder’s role in the project.
  • C. Stakeholder’s favorite color.
  • D. Stakeholder’s power and influence.

Answer: C. Stakeholder’s favorite color.

Explanation: Stakeholder’s favorite color is not a relevant detail for the stakeholder matrix in a program. The matrix usually contains information relating to the program like power, influence, and role.

The stakeholder matrix is created before the start of the program. True or False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True.

Explanation: The stakeholder matrix is usually prepared in the initial stages of the program as the part of program management planning process.

In program management, the person or group that provides the financial resources for the program is known as:

  • A. The sponsor
  • B. The stakeholder
  • C. The program manager
  • D. The program coordinator

Answer: A. The sponsor

Explanation: In program management, the sponsor is the individual or group that provides the financial resources and approves major changes. The sponsors are key stakeholders in the program.

Interview Questions

What is a stakeholder in program management?

A stakeholder in program management is a person, group, or organization that has an interest or concern in the program. This includes sponsors, team members, clients, and other influencers who can affect or be affected by the program’s outcomes.

What is the purpose of a stakeholder matrix?

The purpose of a stakeholder matrix is to document relevant information about stakeholders, their influence over the program, their interest in the program, and how their needs and expectations will be managed.

Who are the stakeholders in a program?

Program stakeholders may consist of program sponsors, team members, end-users, suppliers, clients, government, communities, or any other individuals or organizations who can affect or be affected by the program.

What is the role of the sponsor in program management?

The sponsor is typically the individual or group within the organization providing the resources and support for the program. They usually own the program and make critical decisions relating to it.

What information should be documented in a stakeholder matrix?

A stakeholder matrix typically includes the stakeholder’s name, role in the project, contact information, level of interest in the program, level of influence over the program, and any necessary strategies for managing their expectations.

What is the importance of identifying stakeholders in program management?

Identifying stakeholders is vital in program management as it helps to understand their needs, expectations, influence, and interest which determines their impact on the program. This information is used to develop effective communication and stakeholder management strategies.

How can you determine the position of a stakeholder relative to the program?

Stakeholder positioning can be determined using various techniques such as SWOT analysis, stakeholder mapping or matrices, or using the power-interest grid. These techniques help to identify how much influence and interest each stakeholder has in the program.

What is a program sponsor?

A program sponsor is typically an executive or senior manager in the organization who provides resources, guidance, strategic vision, and approval for the program. The sponsor is a key stakeholder and typically has significant power and influence over the program.

Why is it important to create a stakeholder engagement plan?

A stakeholder engagement plan is vital to manage the expectations of each stakeholder effectively and develop strategies to engage them in the program. It also can help to reduce potential risks and conflicts throughout the program.

What tools can you use to identify stakeholders in a program?

Tools that can be used to identify stakeholders include brainstorming, stakeholder analysis, interviews, surveys, and reviewing project documents or lessons learned from similar projects.

What is stakeholder analysis?

Stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying the individuals or groups who have an interest or influence over the program and assessing their impact on the program. It also involves determining their needs, interests, and expectations.

How can you increase stakeholder buy-in for your program?

Stakeholder buy-in can be increased by involving stakeholders early in the program, keeping them informed about the progress of the program, clearly communicating the benefits of the program, and actively seeking their feedback and input.

Who is responsible for managing stakeholders in a program?

The program manager is typically responsible for managing stakeholders. However, it can also be a shared responsibility with the program team depending on the size and complexity of the program.

What is the Power/Interest Grid in stakeholder management?

The Power/Interest Grid is a tool used for stakeholder mapping. It is a matrix that maps stakeholders based on their power (the level of influence they have over the project) and their interest (how much they care about the project’s outcome).

How can the stakeholder matrix assist in communication planning?

The stakeholder matrix can assist in communication planning by helping to identify who needs what information, when they need it, and how it should be delivered. This ensures that all stakeholders receive the appropriate level of communication and engagement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *