PMbasics: Stakeholders

During proces of defining the project scope question: ‘’Who are project’s stakeholders?’’ arises. Stakeholder are any individual or group of people who directly or indirectly affect the project or the project affects them. In the field of project management, perhaps one of the most important factor is the management of stakeholders which can be explained in 3 steps: identification of stakeholders (brainstorming, list, map) stakeholder analysis (to determine the requirements, expectations, potential impact) and frequent communication with stakeholders (management of stakeholders). It is very important that every project manager is aware of the fact that client satisfaction and satifaction of other stakeholders is the only real indicator of project success.

As we mentioned in previous PMbasics, changes in the scope, so-called “scope creep”, usually comes from the stakeholders which were not properly involved in the managinement of the project. That’s why it is essential to keep focus on the project stakeholders from the beginning to the end of every project.

Here is an example. 🙂

During the construction of buildings and other facilities close to the city center, we must pay attention to the management of stakeholders. Often, such project have to fulfill rigorous requirements by many state and municipal public bodies and these bodies often have a greater impact on the project than immediate stakeholders such as investors, contractor, designer and supervising engineer and organizations from which they come from. Having identified all the stakeholders, it is necessary to analyze their influence (e.g. approval of the Ministry of culture often has affect on delay of the project, waiting could lasts up to a year) and maintain constant communication. It’s also necessary to report project progress to all stakeholders  (report to investors on the state of execution) . Yet some experienced project managers, taking into consideration all of these factors are known to fail on such projects.

The often reason for this are variety of civil organizations or other indirect stakeholders whose actions (eg, protests, lawsuits …) leed to project delays and budget overruns. We wanted to emphasize the need to timely identify all the stakeholders because of those indirect, which are not in the foreground, but in the end have the greatest influence on change in the scope and content of the project and therefore on its (un)successful management.

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