1. Identifying project stakeholders
May 31, 2010
Project stakeholder identification is a combination of steps to identify all individuals or institutions that are interested in, or have a concern in current project, and to document all relevant information regarding their expectations, involvement, and influence on the project outcomes. Project stakeholder identification essentially contributes to increasing the probability of the project success because it allows developing and using approaches to identifying and documenting interests and impacts of organizations or people involved in the project. Stakeholder identification steps are usually combined into the respective process.
Identifying project stakeholders is a subsidiary, step-wise analytical process that aims at identifying project stakeholders who have an impact on the project, and analyzing such critical information as their interests, concerns, and involvement in the project, for the purpose of maximizing positive influence and minimizing potential negative impacts. The process is managed by the project manager who develops project stakeholder identification strategies which allow focusing on relationships necessary to ensure the project success.
The process requires using the following identifying project stakeholder documentation:
- Project Charter
- Procurement documents which result from project procurement activities.
- Enterprise environmental factors (EEF) which may have an impact on the process. The factors may be company structure, industry standards, competition, etc.
The identifying project stakeholder process can be represented as a coherent sequence of the following steps:
- Stakeholder analysis. Analyzing project stakeholders is a systematic activity that aims at collecting and reviewing quantitative and qualitative information on project stakeholders for the purpose of identifying whose concerns and interests should be taken into account throughout the project executing activities. Stakeholder analysis allows using the project stakeholder analysis matrix to rank all existing stakeholders, determine relationships between them, and identify their expectations and influence. The activity results in creating a list of identified stakeholders.
- Expert judgment. Providing expert judgment to the project is an activity that includes judgment and expertise to ensure appropriate identification and comprehensive listing of stakeholders. The activity is undertaken by senior management, key stakeholders, project managers, SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), and professional and technical associations. It aims at investigating the identified stakeholders list and all its elements, including names, interests, influence, responsibilities, and rights.
The identifying project stakeholder process results in developing the project stakeholder register. This public document is critical to stakeholder management and includes all the details on the identified stakeholders. The following information is included in the project stakeholder register:
- Identification data: names, positions, roles.
- Contact information: phone numbers, emails.
- Assessment information: requirements, expectations and potential impact on project
- Stakeholder classification: using stakeholder typology to select and prioritize stakeholders by Power (Influence) and Interest.
Project manager is in charge of creating the stakeholder register. The document is the basis for developing the stakeholder management strategy. Such a strategy defines an approach to be used to minimize potential negative impacts of the identified stakeholders. Project manager uses the strategy and the stakeholder analysis matrix to determine the stakeholder impacts, identify the level of participation and involvement, and get a representation of stakeholder groups.
- Identifying project stakeholders
- Planning communications and distributing information
- Managing stakeholder expectations
- Reporting communication performance