The engagement of stakeholders in the project lifecycle is a key factor in the success of any project. Yet getting stakeholders engaged is a difficult task. The problem is further exacerbated when the software development project is globally distributed, mainly because of communication barriers between different stakeholders.

In this paper we describe multiple case studies where a wiki platform, together with specific working practices, enabled us to track the development process and the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement. The case studies were conducted by a consultancy team working with globally distributed teams.

The wiki platform was used to ensure timely responses from stakeholders through their ongoing active involvement in the process. Engagement was automatically measured using metrics based on wiki usage data. In the case studies, we quantitatively analyzed these metrics. These metrics serve as an indication of the engagement effectiveness and thereby also the likelihood of projects' success, based on stakeholders' behavior rather than attitude. We add qualitative examples to this analysis for illustrating the quality of stakeholders' engagement. As opposed to the traditional approach that uses interviews and questionnaires, this automatic method measures stakeholder behavior rather than attitude.

By analyzing wiki usage data we are able to identify different work practices according to the users— consultants or stakeholders—who performed changes in the wiki, and we identify practices that generate effective stakeholder engagement and practices that do not.

In this paper we (1) define work practices for implementing effective stakeholder engagement and (2) develop metrics that automatically indicate the effectiveness of ongoing stakeholder engagement using the number of reads after a write.