Identify your Stakeholders: by Heineken

The new PMBOK(R) Guide has a new process called Identify Stakeholders.

As a person invloved with creating PMP(R) Exam study materials as well as developing and delivering PM courseware, I always want to keep my material up-to-date with the latest PMBOK(R) Guide.  Of course, this means searching for practical examples from organizations and real applications.  Sometimes, however, opportunities to explain a concept just pop up on the public airwaves and I love to take advantage of that.  Here is an example of Stakeholder Identification that ought to make you laugh.

I spent two years in The Netherlands as manager of a small PM team.  So I developed a taste for certain things Dutch, amongst them Douwe Egberts coffee and some of the funniest and most creative TV commercials I have ever seen. 

This one (which I understand is now being introduced in the US) is a great example.  In fact, I found the latest version of the commercial in English, so I don’t have to explain what a huiskamer and a slaapkamer are.  Phew.

The link to project management?  Well, I advise that you watch the video first and then come back here.

Watch the video before reading the rest of the post!

Just click on the link above or the can below.

Make sure you have your sound turned up.

(Come back to this section of the posting AFTER you have seen the video)

OK. See the video?

Identify Stakeholders was placed as the FIRST PROCESS in Chapter 10, Project Communications Management.  The area of interest to me for the purposes of making the point is found in, Step 1.  Little did the creators of this commercial know that that what they really were creating was an educational video illustration of Section of the PMBOK Guide! 

What does Step 1 say?  It says to “Identify all potential project stakeholders and relevant information, such as their roles, departments, interests, knowledge levels, expectation, and influence levels”.  The PMBOK Guide goes on to give some examples of an excellent tool called a Power/Interest grid.  In this case, Stakehholder 1 wanted (and got, with apparent customer delight) closet space, and Stakeholder 2 wanted a place for beer (and got it, with apparent customer delight).

The contractor who built the house, obviously a PMP,  had to first identify the needs of these two stakeholders,  and listened carefully to their needs.

In fact, I think the commercial describes another principle I teach about called Kano Analysis (see excellent PDF here).  In Kano analysis, there are three types of customer requirements: Excitement, Performance, and Threshold. I think it’s safe to say that this builder has found an “excitement” product attribute.

Although my guess is that the “resources” aspect of this project was least constrained, it appears – and especially sounds – like the project was a success.

I wonder if Heineken will soon be releasing commercials about Organizational Process Assets…


2 thoughts on “Identify your Stakeholders: by Heineken”

  1. User Avatar

    Very funny video and a great way to illustrate your point in a captivating way. It is incredibly important to know your target market and have it clearly understood and ingrained in the minds of everyone on the project.

    Ironically, one of the best ways to do this is to video a representative sample of your customers talking about their problems or needs. Capture their work environments, how they would use your product, and what they want, in their own words. Then, show these videos to everyone on the project, perhaps several times during the project. Today, it is very easy to create very effective videos with simple PC tools and an inexpensive camera. This is much cheaper than sending everyone out to visit customers and you don’t have to take notes to get an accurate transcript.

    1. User Avatar

      Plus, if it turns out to be funny, you could post it on YouTube…

      Seriously, thanks for the comment – I happen to agree. Adding to your comment, the video medium also conveys more human communication than pure text or even audio.


Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top