Performing the Stakeholder Analysis
What is a project stakeholder? A project stakeholder can be defined as any group or individual having a vested interest in the planning, initiation, execution or completion of chosen project initiative. This interest can be vested in the project outcome, the project management process, or both. The type and degree of interest will vary according to the role that the individual or group plays in the project, and the extent to which the said stakeholders are affected by project results and consequences. As such, project stakeholders can be identified according to the following elements: role, interest and influence (RII).
During project initiation and subsequent planning, stakeholders must be identified and analyzed according to roles, rights and responsibilities. This is an essential part of the project definition process, helping you to put the project in proper perspective so that you can plan accordingly, set priorities, and establish effective management procedures. The ultimate goal of the stakeholder analysis process is to promote positive stakeholder influence and minimize negative influence in order to ensure project success.
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Specifically, the results of the stakeholder analysis process can be used in the following ways:
1. To create effective, realistic project definitions (assigning project priority, risk and visibility values).
2. To assign targeted project roles and responsibilities (identifying skills, resources and task assignments.
3. To structure an effective project organization (team organization, reporting relationships, steering committee setup).
4. To create effective communication plans (information needs, communications requirements, meeting frequency, status reporting procedures).
5. To identify targeted management support requirements (enlisting and ensuring consistent and appropriate management support throughout the entire project effort).
6. To create practical relationship management strategies (to consider all stakeholder needs and expectations, to ensure that all stakeholders [both passive and active] are properly considered throughout the project process).
As the stakeholder analysis is performed, the following issued must be considered and addressed:
1. Who are your project stakeholders?
2. What interest does each stakeholder have?
3. Is that interest active or passive?
4. Which stakeholders will have a positive influence on the project?
5. Which stakeholders will have a negative influence on the project?
6. What stakeholder needs and expectations exist for this project?
7. How will you manage these needs and expectations?
8. How will stakeholder needs and expectations influence communications requirements?