Projects are a collaborative process in which different levels of participation play a role in achieving a successful project outcome. However, the involvement of stakeholders in project success is important nowadays since they can have a positive or negative impact on project objectives. Therefore, it is very essential for project managers to identify stakeholders during the initial stage of the project. They should interact with them effectively, solicit their feedback, and ensure they are satisfied with the project’s results.
Who Is A Project Stakeholder?
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 7th edition emphasizes stakeholder engagement in projects. It defines project stakeholders as
“An individual, group, or organization that may affect, be affected by, or perceive
itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project, program, or portfolio”
In other words, stakeholders are the individuals or organizations who have a direct or indirect influence on the project. They include government, project sponsors, customers, operation managers, higher management, project management team, suppliers, and vendors. Furthermore, project success or failure is determined by stakeholder satisfaction.
Process Involved In Identifying Stakeholders Of A Project
Project managers start mapping out stakeholders for the project after completing the project charter and determining the scope of the project. PMBOK Guide also stresses identifying stakeholders in the initial stage of the project. Here are the processes involved in identifying project stakeholders.
Inputs For Identifying Project Stakeholders
A project charter is a document that contains project requirements and information such as the name of the project manager, client, sponsor, and key stakeholders, which provides insights for identifying the stakeholders.
This input is only necessary if the project involves a contract. These contract agreements include the names of vendors, stakeholders, and clients’ requirements.
Enterprise environmental factors
Enterprise environmental factors are internal and external factors that impact the project. It can be Government regulations, industry standards, internal and external political conditions, organizational culture or structure, existing resources, legal restrictions, and finance and market conditions. Therefore, reviewing those enterprise environmental factors can help in finding information regarding stakeholders.
The government is an important stakeholder in every project, and their support is critical to the success of the project. The enterprise environmental factors also provide information about government entities.
Organizational process assets
Organizational process assets can be anything that helps project managers in project management. It includes organizational standard processes, established standards and templates, historical data, lessons learned knowledge bases, and previous project files. Referring to these organizational process assets can also assist in the identification of more stakeholders.
Tools And Techniques Used In Identifying Project Stakeholders
The following are tools and techniques involved in identifying stakeholders in project management
Stakeholder analysis is a systematic process of collecting and reviewing quantitative and qualitative information about project stakeholders. It aids in determining whose concerns and interests should be considered throughout the project’s execution operations. The project stakeholder analysis matrix is used in stakeholder analysis to rank all current stakeholders, evaluate their relationships, and identify their expectations and impact. This operation provides a list of recognized stakeholders.
Identification and comprehensive listing of stakeholders are ensured using expert judgement. Senior management, key stakeholders, project managers, and subject matter experts are involved in this activity. These experts examine the identified stakeholders including their identities, rights, authority, and responsibilities.
Outputs of Identifying Project Stakeholders
The outputs of identifying project stakeholders are as follows:
Project stakeholder register
Stakeholder register is the initial outcome of the identifying stakeholder process. It is a document that contains all information of the identified stakeholders and is utilized by the project manager for stakeholder management. This information is frequently relied on perception and hence it is sensitive. The register is beneficial for project communication and assists in accomplishing the project’s goals and objectives. The project stakeholder register contains information such as identification data, contact information, assessment information, and stakeholder classification.
Stakeholder management strategy
Stakeholder management strategies are used to reduce the negative impacts of recognized stakeholders. This method is used by the project manager to establish stakeholder impacts, identify the level of engagement and involvement, and get a representation of stakeholder groups. It describes how to maximize those stakeholders who can contribute positively to the project while minimizing those who can negatively impact.
PMBOK 7 Update
The sixth edition of the PMBOK Guide concentrated on technical processes, inputs, tools, methods, and outputs. PMBOK seventh edition focuses on team skills and resources to achieve value-based results. It focuses more on performance over processes. The previous PMBOK editions were focused on deliverables and now it focused more on outcomes rather than deliverables. This does not imply that process-based approaches are no longer relevant or useful. It is still widely used by organizations and practitioners of project management and it remains relevant in the context of the PMBOK Guide Seventh Edition.
PMBOK 7th edition has twelve project delivery principles and a value delivery system. The value delivery system helps in delivering valuable outcomes and principles. This assists project managers, team members, and stakeholders in achieving desired outcomes.
The first step toward successful project management is identifying stakeholders. Stakeholders play an important role in every project since they can impact it both favourably and adversely. As a result, recognizing project stakeholders and understanding their expectations before project commencement is critical to project success.