The SRMM® model for stakeholder management maturity and governance


Series on Effective Stakeholder Engagement

By Lynda Bourne, PhD

Melbourne, Australia

This series of articles focused on ESEI stakeholder engagement has set out a framework for organisations to use in the effective management of their stakeholder community and has clearly demonstrated the benefits of proactive engagement over an ad hoc reactive approach to ‘crisis management’. However, it is impossible to transition from an unorganised ad hoc approach to the management of stakeholders to a balanced proactive engagement with stakeholders overnight. Organisations need to plan and implement the changes needed to transition to their desired level of capability and maturity in a structured way.

The Stakeholder Relationship Maturity Model (SRMM®) has been designed to facilitate this transition. The SRMM model is free to use and can be applied using any sophisticated approach to stakeholder engagement.

SRMM® Defined

As with all ‘maturity models’, the level of ‘readiness’ or maturity described in SRMM® simply defines the starting point for planning the implementation of process improvements to enhance the effective management of ‘stakeholder engagement’ within and around projects (or the organisation). In developing this concept a number of levels of organisational ‘readiness’ have been described that link organisational willingness to engage proactively in developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, to techniques or processes that can assist in achieving those objectives.

Recognising which level of readiness an organisation is closest to defines the starting point for these process improvements. Applying SRMM® then enables the most effective and pragmatic implementation of various stakeholder management and engagement practices within an organisation. It achieves this outcome by offering a framework for progressively building capability, in alignment with organisational maturity, towards proactively managing stakeholder relationships.

The process model used in this paper is the Stakeholder Circle® methodology and supporting tools, simply because it has been the basis of the author’s research program, and data is readily available to support the on-going development of the SRMM® concept. However it is important to note that SRMM® is independent of any particular methodology, the only requirement to use SRMM® effectively is to use a structured series of processes (repeatable and measurable) that can be built into ‘the methodology’ used by an organization.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles on effective project stakeholder engagement is by Lynda Bourne, PhD, Managing Director of Stakeholder Pty Ltd (Australia) and author of the books Stakeholder Relationship Management and Advising Upwards, both published by Gower (UK). Dr. Bourne is one of the world’s leading authorities on program/project stakeholder relations. See her author profile below.



About the Author

Dr. Lynda Bourne

Melbourne, Australia




Dr. Lynda Bourne is Managing Director of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd – an Australian based company with partners in South America and Europe. Through this global network she works with organisations to manage change through managing the relationships essential for successful delivery of organisational outcomes.   Lynda was the first graduate of the RMIT University, Doctor of Project Management course, where her research was focused on tools and techniques for more effective stakeholder engagement. She has been recognized in the field of project management through her work on development of project and program management standards. She was also included in PMI’s list of 50 most influential women in PM.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). She is a recognized international speaker and seminar leader on the topic of stakeholder management, the Stakeholder Circle® visualization tool, and building credibility and reputation for more effective communication.   She has extensive experience as a Senior Project Manager and Project Director specializing in delivery of information technology and other business-related projects within the telecommunications sector, working as a Senior IT Project Management Consultant with various telecommunications companies in Australia and South East Asia (primarily in Malaysia) including senior roles with Optus and Telstra.

Dr Bourne’s publications include: Stakeholder Relationship Management, now in 2nd edition, published in 2009, Advising Upwards published in 2011, and Making Projects Work, published in 2015. She has also contributed to books on stakeholder engagement, and has published papers in many academic and professional journals and is blogger for PMI’s Voices on Project Management.

Dr. Bourne can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Lynda Bourne, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-lynda-bourne/