Tips to identify the stakeholders in any project
It can be a tricky task to identify all the project stakeholders, yet doing so is imperative. It can be the make or break of a project. In this article, you’ll learn a few tips to help identify all those that have a stake in the project.
What are project stakeholders?
Simply put, a stakeholder is a person, team or organisation who has an interest in – or could have an interest in – the outcome of a project. This includes those who may be affected by the outcome, or be affected by the progress of a project.
How many stakeholders will there be in a PRINCE2 project?
The number of stakeholders in a project is indefinable. There will be some who drift in and out of the position as a stakeholder through the project, and there will be others (such as the client) who remain stakeholders from start to finish and beyond. The important thing to do is to identify them early in an organised manner.
Who identifies project stakeholders?
Stakeholders are identified by the Project Manager, the Project Board, and the Project Team. It’s a collaborative process designed to capture as many stakeholders or potential stakeholders as possible.
How do you identify project stakeholders?
The stakeholder identification process should enlist the help of many people. You could ask for input from previous project stakeholders, the customer, professionals in the field, and individual members of the project team and end users. Essentially, it’s a brainstorming process.
What questions will help to identify project stakeholders?
One of the most effective ways to identify project stakeholders is to ask questions that will prompt brainstorming. Such questions might include:
- Who is affected positively or negatively by the project?
- Who wants it to succeed, and who wants it to fail?
- Who has the power to make the project succeed or fail?
- Who makes the financial decisions?
- Who exercises influence over other stakeholders?
- Who could solve particular problems?
- Who could create particular problems?
- Who controls, provide, or procures resources?
- Who has the special skills needed by the project?
Who are common project stakeholders?
Common project stakeholders include:
- The project sponsor – usually an executive with the authority to assign resources and finances
- The customer – the person or entity who commissions the project
- Suppliers and subcontractors – without whom the project could not be completed
Other stakeholders include the project team and its members, other departments and divisions affected by the project’s expected outcomes, and, of course, the Project Manager.
How do you categorise stakeholders?
To paraphrase George Orwell, “all stakeholders are equal, but some stakeholders are more equal than others”. Some will have higher-level interests in the project’s outcomes than others. Some will be key to the project’s success, while others will be minor. The importance of stakeholders may also ebb and flow during the project’s timeline.
When categorising stakeholders, you may wish to place them into different groups. These might include categories such as governance, beneficiaries, and regulation.
Once you have identified your project stakeholders, they must be engaged and managed. We’ll look at some tips to help you do this in our next article. In the meantime, to discover how focused project management using PRINCE2 methodology can help your project be successful, contact Your Project Manager: