Identifying Project Stakeholders in Project Management
Effective project management requires detailed stakeholder identification to be performed. This includes internal and external stakeholders, such as business executives, leadership teams, SMEs, team members, departments, end users, vendors, customers, partners, and regulators.
In a previous post, we covered the essential element, create a project charter. A charter should identify key project stakeholders, but this is only on the high level, so let’s dive more deeply into what it takes to effectively identify all of your stakeholders.
Who Are Stakeholders, and How Can You Identify Them?
Stakeholders are people and organizations who:
- Are involved in or impacted by the project or product
- Can positively or negatively impact the project or product
It is important to identify anyone who can affect, or be affected by, the project or the product.
Anyone who has any interest in the project, including those who might be opposed to the project or portions of it, are also stakeholders.
To help you identify more stakeholders, ask them: “Who do you think are the stakeholders?” You don’t want to miss any.
Also, when identifying stakeholders, the project manager must elicit, document, and evaluate stakeholders’ product, project, and project management requirements and expectations. These have to be evaluated against the charter and project management plan to make sure the project stays within scope, builds the needed solution, and delivers to the business need.
Learn How to Work with Stakeholders Successfully
Successful project managers identify and properly involve stakeholders in the project planning process, and continually engage those stakeholders throughout the project as well.
Good project managers also understand their stakeholders’ requirements, expectations, influence, and impact, and use that analysis and planning to engage them throughout the project.
Want to learn more about working with stakeholders? RMC offers a two-day course, Collaborating with Stakeholders for Better Results. This course teaches you how to use project management tools (such as the project charter and statement of work) to identify gaps in stakeholder expectations and requirements, and how to propose modifications. Balancing the science and art of project management requires that project managers know how to collaborate with stakeholders and meet their expectations. This course will show you how, while also giving you the chance to earn 12 PDUs.
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