The identification of stakeholders is one of the first steps in project management planning. To accomplish this, you must first understand what a stakeholder is. A stakeholder is a person or group of people who can influence or are influenced by a project. Individuals working on a project, groups of people or organizations, or even segments of a population can all be stakeholders. A stakeholder is someone who is actively involved in the work of a project, is affected by the project’s outcome, or has the ability to influence the project’s success. Stakeholders can be internal to a project’s organization or external, such as customers, creditors, unions, or community members.

Depending on the complexity and scope of a project, there may be a small number of stakeholders or a large number of stakeholders. A project may be part of a city or county’s public works department, and it may involve thousands of community members as stakeholders. It is critical to consider anyone who may fall into any of these categories when determining who a stakeholder is. As we progress toward stakeholder identification, we must examine the project landscape to determine which individuals or groups can influence and affect the project, as well as those who are influenced and affected by its performance and outcome.

So Stakeholders can be:

· The project manager, sponsor, and team

· The customer (individual or organization)

· Suppliers of material or other resources

· Creditors

· Employees

· Unions

Stakeholder Identification

So, we’ve answered the question: what exactly is a stakeholder? The next step is to apply what you’ve learned to answer the question, “Who is a stakeholder?” During the stakeholder identification process, this question is answered. The process of identifying all stakeholders for a project is known as stakeholder identification. It is critical to recognize that not all stakeholders will have the same impact or influence on a project, nor will they be affected in the same way. There are numerous methods for identifying stakeholders for a project; however, it should be done methodically and logically to ensure that stakeholders are not overlooked.

Another method for identifying stakeholders is to identify those who will be directly impacted by the project as well as those who will be indirectly affected. Directly impacted stakeholders include project team members and the customer for whom the project is being completed. An adjacent organization or members of the local community may be indirectly affected. Directly affected stakeholders typically have more influence and impact on a project than those who are indirectly affected. While these details will be developed and analyzed further during the Stakeholder Analysis process, it is important to start thinking about them now so that a systematic way to identify stakeholders can be provided. Further, you should be aware of the different types of stakeholders to be able to manage your project properly.

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management is the process by which you will use all of the information you have gathered to develop a strategy for managing stakeholders. Poor stakeholder management can easily cause a project to fail, regardless of how well you plan or how invested you are in it. It is an essential component of carrying out and completing a successful project. Communication is an important aspect of stakeholder management.

Understanding who needs what information and when or how often they need it is the foundation of stakeholder management. There will also be stakeholders who support the project and those who are opposed to it or present barriers to its success. Stakeholder management is where you will put all of the information you’ve gathered to good use. Your stakeholder management strategy should be geared toward retaining support from those who are in favor of the project while winning over those who are opposed or, at the very least, mitigating the risks they may present.

Conclusion The questions you asked and answered about each stakeholder during the Stakeholder Analysis process will serve as your guide for how to interact with each stakeholder and meet their specific needs. By determining how powerful a stakeholder is and whether they support or oppose the project, the project manager will be able to develop a strategy for communicating and working with that stakeholder to ensure project success. Some stakeholders may require little interaction or communication, whereas others may require almost constant communication. These strategies are developed and implemented through stakeholder management.


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