Who Are Stakeholder in Project Management?

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Jun 20, 2022

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Stakeholders in project management either actively engage in the activity or have interests which its outcomes may impact. It includes project management, investors, executives, clients, and consumers.

There's no way a single person can complete a project. Regardless of the size of the initiative, a total number of people and entities execute project-related activities. These persons and entities are referred to as stakeholders. To fulfil the objectives of a specific project, project teams must comprehend their interactions with the stakeholders involved. 

What is the definition of a Stakeholder in strategic planning?

Anyone directly involved in projects is considered a stakeholder, whether an individual or an entity. A stakeholder is someone whose values can impact an organisation, favourable or unfavourable. Consequently, various types of stakeholders can be represented in a specific task. Additionally, these project stakeholders vary amongst different types of initiatives.

Who are the stakeholders in a project?

Good stakeholder governance skills are helpful and should be learned, and stakeholders should be kept in the loop about the initiative at all times. Then, they are directly impacted by the good or service.

There are fewer project stakeholders when the project is small. A large-scale organisation may have various relevant parties, including local communities and the wider population. All stakeholders are different. They have different requirements and expectations. Each stakeholder's demands must be met individually; otherwise, they may feel left out.

Different stakeholders frequently have diverse goals, which may lead to organisational conflicts. To meet their strategic business goals or other criteria, stakeholders may interact with the program, its deliverable, and the team members.

How can you classify the relevant stakeholders?

Internal and external stakeholders are the most common stakeholders in project management. Internal stakeholders are actively involved in the planning process and are usually available within the enterprise. External stakeholders are those who operate outside of the organisation. Internal stakeholders and external stakeholders might be further subdivided into distinct types.

Internal stakeholder classifications:

Project Manager – An individual who assumes the responsibility of developing a program that an organisation has undertaken is known as a project manager. The person in this position would be in charge of selecting the key personnel best suited to completing plan activities. The function of the project manager will be that of a group leader during the execution of any specific task for the organisation. A project team can't create outcomes without a manager/leader.

Project management team – The management team is accountable for the program's development and delivery of specific goals. It comprises several persons with particular skill sets. While working on a task, each group member must coordinate with the other teammates. Team members must report issues to the project management.

PMOs – Large corporations have Project Management Offices (PMOs). These offices set the standards for strategically planning and keep them up to date. PMOs outline the policies, practises and processes necessary for the successful administration of initiatives.

Management – The management team comprises people who hold the highest level positions within the business. At regular periods, higher authorities analyse the progress made on the project. In addition, the project manager cannot carry out the project's duties if higher authorities have not given their approval. The project manager must inform the higher authorities of every project-related decision.

External stakeholder classifications:

Suppliers – Individuals or organisations that supply resources for an initiative are known as suppliers. Every plan needs resources, IT services, spare components, etc. Therefore, providers who provide resources outside the company become external stakeholders. Also, an initiative won't have the right inputs to get desired results without suppliers.

Customers – Customers can range from a solitary person to a whole business as long as they are the ones who present the idea. A program is based only on the needs and demands of the client. Customers are therefore able to influence the proposal's success probability directly. The success cannot be assessed until the customer is satisfied with the outcomes.

End users – End users are persons who will use the outcomes once it is completed. These individuals are considered to be beneficiaries of the results of the initiative. A project's success is based on the amount of end-user performance. If the expected outputs of the venture do not satisfy the user's needs, the project is deemed unsuccessful.

Regulatory authorities – Regulatory authorities influence the project's outcomes indirectly. The program manager must adhere to all specific regulations to complete the task—noncompliance with the appropriate regulations for the planned activities in implementation failure. In turn, an organisation that doesn't follow the rules loses its reputation in the business world.

Governing bodies – Governing bodies can also be referred to as sponsors of a given initiative. The sponsor of an initiative is in charge of overseeing the program's management, personnel, and other parties involved. Projects can't exist without sponsors. Relevant sponsors can also be from inside or outside of the entire organisation. These personnel manage the work from planning through closure.

Why Are Stakeholders Essential to a Project?

Stakeholders' requirements and expectations are critical to a successful team. The importance of the role of project stakeholders stems from the following factors:

They bring with them much experience –

Often, the expertise that stakeholders have about the task is very helpful. They are thoroughly aware of the application procedure and how the industry operates. Their experience allows them to provide specific outputs and identify constraints.

They assist in finding associated risks –

Risk mitigation can only be achieved by first identifying any major risks. As a result, this is a great place for stakeholders to share their expertise. They may want to consider risks at the start of the project. Identifying risks early can help you plan and develop backup strategies in case things go wrong.

They boost the chances of a successful completion of the project–

Engaging with stakeholders in project management aids in gaining an early understanding of the team’s performance. It also keeps them on the same track concerning their expectations for the initiative, particularly as the system progresses. In addition, continuous stakeholder input may boost their interest and investment in the work. This can boost organisational performance.

Examples of Project Stakeholders:

Sponsor: Sponsors provide resources and assistance for a project's success. He may be external to the organisation or internal.

Users and customers: Customers are the individuals or organisations who will authorise and oversee the project's product, service, or outcome. As the name suggests, the product is used by users.

Sellers: Sellers, also called vendors, are companies outside the project that sign a contract to provide resources or services that the project needs.

Organisational Teams: The project team's actions have an impact on the internal stakeholders of the organisation. The HR department, marketing, selling, regulatory, financial, operations, manufacturing, etc., are examples.

Functional Supervisors: They are important people in charge of an administrative or operational part of the business. Consider the fields of human resources, finance, accounting, etc.

Other Stakeholders: Financial institutions, government authorities, specialists in the field, and consultants are examples of additional stakeholders who have a financial investment in the project, provide inputs to the project, or have an interest in its result.

Functions of a stakeholder:

Stakeholders are essential to an organisation because they include everyone within the organisation to whom you must provide the necessary services. If those in charge have a clear understanding of the IT services' stakeholders, they would be able to establish roles, duties of supporting organisations, processes, and the administration of interfaces between roles and processes.

The following are the primary functions that the stakeholders play, which underline their significance:

Establishing the Service –

Ensuring that all relevant parties have an opportunity to contribute to the definition and evaluation of a service is the responsibility of a service portfolio management team.

Installing the service –

The project stakeholders must be kept informed of the project's development throughout the duration. By doing this, stakeholders will have a hand in setting up the service.

Service Monitoring and Administration –

The operations have direct effects on the stakeholders. To get the best results, knowing what the stakeholders want and how they plan to use the services is critical. Monitoring ensures that SLM, ITSM, and the client have direct information.

Principles for managing project stakeholders:

Keeping track of various stakeholders is possibly the most important task you'll encounter. However, effectively managing stakeholders is a sub-project of your primary task, and you can't make mistakes.

The following are five approaches to improve stakeholders in project management:

  1. Include relevant stakeholders in all aspects of the task.
  2. Everyone must agree on deliverables
  3. Define the mechanisms governing change
  4. The importance of effective communication
  5. Try to perceive things from the perspective of a viewpoint


Project stakeholders can be internal or external, positive or negative, strong or weak, and so forth. To properly execute your task, you must manage various stakeholders and fulfil their expectations. Professionals must manage stakeholder relationships. Stakeholders of all kinds are essential to the project's success. Team managers develop distinct strategies for each stakeholder.

Join the PMP certification program to acquire the best knowledge and expertise and successfully manage tasks to avoid failure. The PMP Certification aims to help professionals acquire advanced program management abilities. In addition, the PMP training helps learners comprehensively understand The Concepts and industry-standard procedures.

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