Stakeholders are the people who will be most affected by your project. The word stakeholder describes individuals, groups, or organizations that have an interest in the project and can mobilize resources to affect its outcome. Stakeholders usually include the project manager, marketing sales executives, team members and customers.
A stakeholder analysis is the process in which the stakeholders of a project are identified and grouped according to their levels of participation, interest and influence on the project. The analysis determines how to involve and communicate with the stakeholders, and to what extent. The analysis determines the success of a project by obtaining and retaining support and reducing the impact of unseen opposition. By involving different stakeholders, the project can identify potential interactions, design interventions, predict risks and anticipate conflicts, thereby improving the end product or service.
To analyse the stakeholders you first need to identify them, understand their roles in the project and prioritise the most important ones. An effective way of assessing their interests and influence is by constructing a power-interest grid. Organise the stakeholders by giving most attention to the high power, high interest stakeholders, and the leaast attention to the lower interest, lower power stakeholders. The project manager should estimate their influence on the project, the importance of the project to them and to asses the risks and assumptions to do with each stakeholder.
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