IT Best PracticesProject Portfolio Management

Stakeholder Commitment: Why Is It Important?

Stakeholders are the reason for your organization’s success — it’s as simple as that. They are the ones who can shape the success or failure of your IT organization, the people who decide what is valuable and what can go by the wayside. So the question becomes: how can you make sure they are committed to the work you’re performing? This article by Wilf Voge, the definition of a stakeholder is provided from the Stanford Institute’s 1963 understanding: “those groups without whose support the organisation will cease to exist.” Voge uses this definition to frame the importance of the stakeholder’s commitment, and goes on to explain how there are some stakeholders who are more valuable than others:

Listing and grouping the stakeholders is not enough to define who they are. It would help (and would be interesting) to determine their typology as well. This could help in “separating the chaff from the wheat,” as the typology exercise would clearly let you know who among the stakeholders could create real and lasting impact. Given the probable time and budget crunch, these are the types of stakeholders (and their interests) who can and need to be prioritized. They are the ones who have all three critical attributes, namely, power, legitimacy and urgency.

Voge then goes on to give charts and examples that help you determine which stakeholders have those three attributes, thereby giving you a strategic advantage in knowing which stakeholders should be on your radar all the time.

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