In my earlier blog posts, I have written about the stakeholders, their analysis, classification, and how to manage them. In all these blog posts I’ve discussed everything except how to identify stakeholders process, which I am going to discuss now.
Identification of stakeholders is the most important process for any project and it should begin as soon as the project charter is created and signed off.
In the PMBOK Guide 4th version, ‘Identify Stakeholder’ is a process of the Communication Management knowledge area. However, in the the PMBOK Guide i.e. 5th Edition, ‘Identify Stakeholders’ itself is a knowledge area.
See the importance… and that is why I decided to write a separate blog post to cover this topic,and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.
Okay, let’s get started…
A stakeholder is a person, group of people, or an organization involved in the project, or they may be affected by the project or its outcome.
To complete your project successfully, it’s very critical for you to identify your project’s stakeholders, their needs, requirements, expectations, group, interests, power, influence, and everything that you can find out at very initial stage of the project.
When your project starts, you may be wondering that how you should begin searching for the stakeholders and from where you should begin?
Therefore, I’m providing you a few guidelines that you should follow while searching for the stakeholders:
Start with the Project Charter
The Project Charter is the first official document for any project and it contains only high level information. Here, you can find the name of some high level and very influential stakeholders.
Review the contract documents
Review the contract documents, from here you can find few stakeholders as well.
Organizational Process Assets (OPA) and Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF)
Historical stakeholders’ information from company’s database, stakeholder register, and lesson learned documents from previous projects may give you some more information about the stakeholders.
Government is a key stakeholder and you must maintain a good working relationship with various government authorities. Their support can be critical to the success of your project. Review the government regulation and industry standards to find the stakeholders.
Interview the Experts
By interviewing the experts, you can gain a great deal of information about the stakeholders.
Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
Brainstorming sessions with team members and experts can squeeze more stakeholders. Try to find answers to following questions:
- Who is directly involved with the project?
- Who is indirectly involved with the project?
- Who may be affected (either positively or negatively) by the project?
- Who may be affected (either positively or negatively) by the project’s outcome?
- Who gains or loses from the project’s success?
- Who wants to complete the project successfully and who doesn’t?
- Who are the suppliers?
- Who is the user of the end result of the project?
- Who are the competitors?
- Who are the shareholders?
- Is any local community impacted by the project or its outcome?
- Who has the authority to influence the project or its outcome?
- Who has authority to make the project succeed?
- Who can make your project fail?
Identifying the stakeholders is a continuous process until the project ends. This means you must keep looking for any new stakeholders till the project completes. As the project moves forward you may find some new stakeholders introduced to your project, and some old stakeholders may no longer have any interest in your project. Power and interest may also change over the time; therefore, also keep a tab on it.
Make stakeholders your friend. Keep them engaged all the time by fulfilling their expectations and requirements. Set them up as your partner in the project.
All of this information and analysis will be recorded in the stakeholder register. In the stakeholder register, not only must you note their names and titles, but you also must record all relevant information about them. For example, their interest, power, influence, expectations, requirements, communications requirements, etc. It will help you in planning the strategy for managing the stakeholders.
- A stakeholder can be a person, group of people, organization, or any community who may be affected by the project.
- The Identify Stakeholders process is used to identify all project stakeholders.
- Identifying the stakeholders is an iterative process, and stakeholders must be identified throughout the project life cycle.
- All information about the stakeholders is logged into the Stakeholder Register.
Here, this blog post ends. Please share your views in the comments section.
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