Project Management

The 6 Things Every Stakeholder Needs

What if you could get inside the heads of stakeholders to figure out how they tick? Well, Emad Aziz just shared his insights about stakeholder needs at the PMI Global Congress EMEA, and Elizabeth Harrin summarizes his findings at her Girl’s Guide to Project Management blog.

Six Stakeholder Essentials

  1. Personal stakes
  2. Organization stakes
  3. Trust
  4. Capability
  5. Commitment
  6. Indemnity

Obviously, stakeholders needs to know what they’re getting for their involvement – what’s at stake, otherwise they wouldn’t really be stakeholders…they’d just be “holders.” Do their lives get easier through an improved process? Does said project give them the opportunity to make more money, advance their career, or gain recognition? In five minutes, you’ll need to give them the big picture, the business case for the project so that they can visualize the benefits and spot potential flaws. Additionally, and this one is critically important, they have to trust you. Project information is often confidential, and they’ll be eager to confirm your personal integrity moving forward.

In a very real sense, you are on display to stakeholders at the outset of a project, if for no other reason than to affirm you superb capabilities. Means are as important as ends to them, and they’ll want to know if you or your potential team members possess the right skills. At a basic project management level, you’ll want to know how to manage risk, communicate, lead a team, schedule, plan, manage a budget – all the basics competencies you probably know but need to display.

A trait that’s harder to display is commitment. Will you stick it out till the end? Moreover, are you committed to their particular vision of the project? It’s one thing to say that you are, but they’ll want to see actions that back up your words. And lastly, they’ll want you to not “screw it up.” That seems pretty straightforward, but from the perspective of a stakeholder, there’s a lot on the line when they hand you the reigns of the project.

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