Do You Know Your Stakeholders?

The term  stakeholder refers to, “an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project” (Project Management Institute, 2013).

 

Project stakeholders are entities that have an interest in a given project. These stakeholders may be inside or outside an organization which: sponsor a project, have an interest or a gain upon the successful completion of a project or may have a positive or negative influence in the project completion.

 

Each of these are factored into how well you know your stakeholders.

 

Some stakeholders are silent, but still have the power to cancel the project. The “silent stakeholder” is one that sits on the sideline and never expresses their wants, needs or concerns. You cannot satisfy this stakeholder because they never express their concerns in any form.  We will not have an opportunity to engage the silent stakeholders as much as the others during the life of the project.

 

Some stakeholders may be outright antagonistic to the project!  The antagonism may come because they don’t agree with the proposed solution or they don’t agree with the approach.  Maybe they think they have a better way or that the way the team is going is wrong.  The “antagonistic stakeholder” needs to be addressed.  The BA should find out and document their concerns, so that they can look for ways to get them on board with the solution and the approach.  The Project Manager will still need to work with this type of stakeholder to try to win them over.

 

Last, but certainly not least, some stakeholders may be invisible.  Since they are invisible, one is likely to ignore them.  Consequently, it can be very dangerous to the outcome of the project to ignore the “invisible stakeholder”.  Invisible stakeholders are those that we do not know about during important phases of the project.  They are invisible also because we have not identified them and included them in the stakeholder analysis.

To book a class with BCI on stakeholder management, please email us at george@bridgesconsultinc.com

For more information about dealing with stakeholders, download our free eBook

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