Project Stakeholders & their Categories

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Stakeholders are person who have a stake or interest in the project. These stakeholders may be inside or outside of the organization.

They are typically the members of a project team, project managers, executives, project sponsors, customers, and users. We need to identify stakeholders early so that we can set up adequate communication channels among them.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term project stakeholder refers to, "an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project" 

The stakeholder list may be low if the project is small. However, if the project is large and spread out in a large geographical area, you may have a huge number of stakeholders, which may include communities or the general public.

Stakeholders can be categorised in 3 categories: 

Internal to the project team

They will be direct managerial control of Project Leader.

External to the project team but within the same organization

Project Leader need the assistance of the users to carry out the system testing.

External to both the project team and the organization

Customers or users who will get the benefit from the system.

Stakeholders vs. Key Project Stakeholders

Project stakeholders in general can be single individuals or entire organization who are affected by the execution or outcome of a project. Doesn’t matter whether the project affects them negatively or positively. If they’re affected, they’re a stakeholder.

Key project stakeholders, however are those stakeholders who have the influence and authority to dictate whether a project is a success or not. These are the people and groups whose objectives MUST be satisfied. They make or break the project. Even if all deliverables are in and budgets are met, if these people aren’t happy, you’ve failed as a project manager. It include Customer, Project Manager, Project Leader, Project Team Member, Project Sponsor, Top management executives and resource Manager. 

Positive vs. Negative Project Stakeholders

A positive stakeholder sees the project’s positive side and benefit from its success. These stakeholders help the project management team to complete the project successfully.

On the other hand, a negative stakeholder sees the negative outcome of the project and may be negatively impacted by the project or its outcome. This type of stakeholder is less likely to contribute to your success of the project.