Project Management

5 Tips on Identifying the Right Project Stakeholders

If you decide to climb a mountain, you don’t just invite your best friends to tag along–you invite the ones who can help you get to the top in one piece. Similarly, in project management, you have to select the right stakeholders who can make distinctive contributions to your project. At the end of the day, they are the ones who can make or break your work. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander shares a few tips on how to select the right stakeholders for a project:

  1. Ask questions about stakeholders early in the process.
  2. Allow sufficient time for stakeholder analysis and mapping.
  3. Develop and/or utilize the best methodology for the specific project or situation.
  4. Use stakeholder analysis and mapping tools.
  5. Learn from past lessons and from others.

Have a Keen Eye for People

Think about the stakeholder selection early in the process and voice your concerns regarding your options. Don’t wait until the middle or nearly the end of the project to discuss it with your executives. Treat the selection process like a contest in which you’re the judge for a winner—take necessary time and efforts to analyze each stakeholder, foresee the expected benefits and risks that each can create, and compare each’s anticipated contributions with others’ to take the best ones. Be fair, and have a strategic mind in terms of where each candidate will fit in the big picture of your business goals.

Every competition has criteria for participants, and so does your selection process. You should take into consideration the ability to influence other people, the value and specialization, the project’s requirements, and the potential to be perceived as a threat or an asset of each stakeholder. Whether you’re a newbie or a project guru, it’s still good to consult other project leaders and learn from their experience. Making the right decision includes being informed about various aspects of the problems and looking at things from different perspectives.

Rigorous stakeholder analysis is ultimately useful for many reasons:

  • Maintaining focus on stakeholders’ needs;
  • Ensuring positive influence exists between stakeholders;
  • Reducing unnecessary risks;
  • Having the relevant and key stakeholders involved from inception to close; and
  • Providing the best possible project outcome(s).

Sometimes stakeholders actually have a vested interest in seeing a project fail. Sadly in such situations, this fact may not be discovered until well into a project, causing unnecessary conflict and wasted time, energy, and resources.

You can view the original article here:

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