An individual or Group which has direct or indirect stake in a project that can affect or affected by the actions, objectives and decisions of the Project can be identified as Stakeholders. Accordingly Creditors, Customers, Directors, Employees, Owners or Shareholders, Suppliers, Trade unions, Government and its Agencies are all included under the expression of Stakeholders. Stakeholder can be anyone who has interest in the project or will be affected by its dealings. Project Managers have to realize the values and issues that stakeholders have in order to involve everyone in the project. The sooner these issues are addressed positively the better it is for the smooth functioning and progress of the Project.
Stakeholders are not equal and various stakeholders are entitled to different considerations. As an example company’s customers who comprise part of the stakeholders are entitled to fair trading deals but they are not entitled to the same consideration as the Project employees.
To put it into its context, stakeholder management is vital in order to achieve objectives of any Project. Creating positive relationships with stakeholders and proper management is a most unique feature which has pivotal importance in contemporary business environment.
A stakeholder map is a supportive document in order to identify each and every stakeholder. This will ease the stakeholder management process. Recognizing stakeholders according to the influence or impact they can make on the project will also be helpful in the management of stakeholders.
It is primarily focused at getting to know each other and engagement is the opportunity to discuss and agree to a set of values and principles. It is necessary that all stakeholders to abide by them. Stakeholder agreement is a document of consensus between and among stakeholders.
Stakeholder management is the process of managing expectation of stakeholders who have interest in the Project. Stakeholders commitments is a vital fact and it is the value that galvanize diverse entities so that each and everyone can work together like a family for mutual benefit. Again commitment is the force that drives the relationships forward to the desired goal which lead to growth and profitability and to get the project off on the right foot.
The most obvious example is sales skills which can be sustained to continue to build the relationships and trust with the stakeholders. Building relationships is an important as the outstanding success and dismal failure of the project depends on stakeholders to trust so that they will deliver the goods at the right time in the right way.
Managing stakeholders means managing their needs and expectations. This is easier in the event good relationships are developed with stakeholders. Running a successful project requires a high degree of stakeholder management.
Stakeholder influence is an important factor and in this context what is significant is the power and influence
that a stakeholder has over the project objectives.
Stakeholders desire to exert influence should be combined with their ability to exert influence on the project. The stakeholders can disturb the project plans and cause uncertainty .
The reality is that stakeholders are no equal in terms of their influence. As an example Senior manager has more influence than ordinary employee. In the same manner, a person with more company shares has a greater influence than a small shareholder. Banks have a considerable impact on project facing cash flow problems, yet this is not important to a large Project. A big customer exerts more influence than small customer. Employees are able to increase their power and influence as stakeholders by uniting under trade unions.
Project Manager should communicate with all stakeholders to discover and manage their expectations prior to implementation and during the execution of the project in order to steer clear a project to take it on the right track. One of the key elements of stakeholder management is the influencing ability to affect actions, beliefs and attitudes of others to ensure that people support project goals.
Pictures and Symbols
Advertisements are an obvious example of how people can be influenced. Pictures. symbols and images are extremely influential, as some people ignore words, so that Project Manager should use more pictures, images and symbols when communicating with stakeholders of the Project. Project Manager to outline a plan in order to increase support and minimize disturbances.
Participation of Stakeholders
Stakeholder group could include individuals from a certain geographic location or individuals with a specific interests. Level of participation by the key stakeholders should also be monitored by the Project Manager. Unless a project truly engages its stakeholders, it will be paying some of its employees to success and the rest to resist it. Good stakeholder managerment is fundamental to the ability of a project to change. It is necessary to manage stakeholders in a sensitive and positive way from the moment the project starts throughout the closure of the project.
When a project is being implemented more and more people are affected. Some of these people have the authority to undermine the project. Stakeholder management is a process by which to identify key stakeholders and get their support. First stage of this is stakeholder analysis. In this analysis it can be realized that who are the most important stakeholders. Subsequent step is to prioritize and categorize them by their power and interest. Final step is to understand and motivate stakeholders and to get their support. Stakeholder analysis is the technique to be utilized to recognize the key people who have to be won.
Success of the Project
Management of stakeholders is crucial to the success of every project. By engaging the right people in right place in the project, it is possible to make a big difference. Stakeholders could be strong supporters of the project or they could block or obstruct the smooth functioning. That is why Stakeholder management is a vital and successful people utilize it to gain support from each and everyone. It helps to ensure that with proper stakeholder management, project succeeds while others fail.
Project stakeholder management is not going to be easy task. Having some knowledge of human behaviours can help Project Manager to use the most appropriate communication strategy, tools and techniques. One of the key elements of project stakeholder management is the use of influence and the ability to affect the actions, beliefs and attitudes of other people to ensure that stakeholders support the project. Underlying the fact and it is necessary to use stakeholder planning to facilitate and pave the for ultimate success of the Project. It takes determination and clear thinking for this unique achievement.