Identify the Stakeholders to Accomplish Project Goals

Identify the Stakeholders to Accomplish Project Goals

One of the greatest assets to a project manager in delivering a successful project is people, including the project team and its stakeholders. Leaders must accurately identify the stakeholders, set participation expectations, and effectively communicate to achieve project success. This article at Community Tool Box discusses why analyzing and identifying project stakeholders is crucial for achieving project goals.

How to Identify the Stakeholders

"Stakeholder analysis (also called stakeholder mapping) will help you decide which stakeholders might have the most influence over the success or failure of your effort, which might be your most important supporters, and which might be your most important opponents," says the author.

Here are some steps that you must follow to determine the critical project stakeholders:

  • Interview the project management experts and key influencers to identify the stakeholders.
  • Review the enterprise environmental factors (EEF) such as competition, the organization's structure, and industry standards to understand your primary stakeholders.
  • Identify the stakeholders based on your company's mission and vision. For example, product stakeholders might include investors, local communities, government, suppliers, end-users, and influencers.
  • Determine key decision makers. Consider both the direct and indirect results of the decision-making process. Remember, some stakeholders are affected by the decisions more severely than others.

Are Stakeholders Critical for Project Success?

Good stakeholders will undoubtedly bring a lot to your project and help you achieve your project goals. Involving stakeholders in your project planning process will allow you to decide where your project should go. Furthermore, understanding your project stakeholders will enable you to gain buy-in and effectively execute your projects. Stakeholders analysis helps you:

  • Enhance project visibility, especially to executive stakeholders
  • Prevent roadblocks in the project lifecycle
  • Gain support and resources

Stakeholders play a critical role in any project because they can positively and negatively influence it. Therefore, as a project manager, you must recognize your stakeholders and understand their expectations during project initiation. Identifying and managing your stakeholders is the first step toward successfully executing the project.

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