Stakeholders & Their Significance in the Project

Written by Omar Alenezi

Accounts manager under the project development division team at KUWAITNET, primarily focusing on government and enterprises sector.

Stakeholders in the context of a project are not the only people involved in the success of the project. Other people who may be important stakeholders are the managers, the owners, the staff, and other staff members. Other people who can potentially be important stakeholders are the clients, the suppliers, the other business partners, and the tax authorities. The stakeholder concept can be defined as anyone who has an interest in the success of the project. A successful project team will ensure high-quality deliverables and successful project delivery. Although every stakeholder has a different role to play in the overall success of the project, all stakeholders own a role to play in ensuring the project's success.


How Do We Define a Stakeholder? 

A stakeholder can get defined as anyone who has an interest in the successful completion of the project. The project team can use different ways to identify potential stakeholders. One way is to list the stakeholders at the beginning of the project using a spreadsheet. The other way is to ask people who might be interested in making a contribution to the project by using the questionnaires. These questions need to be asked not only to the potential stakeholders but also to the people who will be most likely to benefit from the project.


Why Are Stakeholders Needed for the Success of the Project? 

Stakeholders do play an important role in determining the success of the project because, without them, there would be no progress in the project. However, the problem with stakeholders arises when the stakeholder list used during the planning stage is not extensive enough. Often the list of stakeholders includes only the company or business that is most interested in the project. The project manager, in order to make the stakeholders' list comprehensive, has to do the follow-ups after the project is complete.


When is the Best Time to Approach Stakeholders? 

When the stakeholders see that the benefits they stand to gain through the project outweigh the costs and risks. This realization usually does not happen immediately. Most of the stakeholders will take time before they realize the advantages they stand to gain from the project. As such, the timing for contacting them should also be carefully chosen based on the circumstances.


How to Know if the Stakeholders Are Interested in the Project or Not? 

The most appropriate way to find out whether the project is interesting is to ask the stakeholders themselves. This approach works best if the stakeholders have a personal interest in the project. It could either be their personal connection to the company, their previous achievements, or their passion for the particular area in which the project is currently working.


How Stakeholders Receive the Information About Project’s Status? 

It is recommended that the stakeholders receive regular updates, either by telephone or email. If the stakeholders are satisfied with the frequency of the updates, then it is advisable to keep them up with the information as they like. However, it is also important to note that the frequency of the updates should not be too frequent that the stakeholders become annoyed. If the updates are too frequent, the stakeholders might start losing faith in the project management process.


Should You Give Information About a Project's Success to Stakeholders? 

It is important to provide updates regularly so that the stakeholders can understand the progress that has been made and the reasons behind the success. It is also important to note that the status reports should mention all the significant events that took place during the period of the project. The important events include the initiation of the project, its inception, and the initiation of the stakeholders' involvement.


How to Define Project Management System in Respect to Stakeholders? 

It is crucial to note that the project management system should be designed in such a way that the stakeholders' needs are appropriately represented. This will ensure that the stakeholders understand the significance of the work that is being done. This will ultimately help the stakeholders in the sense that they will be able to accept the work as the top priority.


The Final Say

Stakeholders play an imperative role in determining the success of a project mainly because they have a role to play in determining the budget of the project, the scope of the project, the risk profile of the project, as well as other related issues. They can be defined as people who take part in project delivery. The project's success depends on the level of stakeholder involvement. A project team with a high level of stakeholder involvement is able to achieve the desired success. Stakeholder involvement is necessary if you want your project to be successful.


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