The basics of stakeholder management

Learn in this article how to define project stakeholders, why stakeholder management is important and how to conduct an adequate stakeholder analysis.

Andrea Schlagbauer

Andrea Schlagbauer

381 words • 3 minutes

Share on: Auf LinkedIn teilen Tweet Auf Facebook teilen

What are project stakeholders?

A project stakeholder is a single person, a group of people, or an organization that has a particular interest in a project. These parties are either directly involved in the project, or their interests are influenced by the project outcome. Project stakeholders are, for example, customers, employees, the government, shareholders, suppliers etc.

Why is stakeholder management important?

Projects bring changes with them that must be accepted by the people involved, both internally and externally, because success is only achieved through quality AND acceptance. Rumors, reservations and misunderstandings can result from inadequate project communication and too little information. In addition, it is often difficult to properly position the project in competition with another project.

ad-stakeholder-management

How does the stakeholder analysis work?

First, project stakeholders are identified and divided into groups. Then the influence (high, medium, low), the interest (also high, medium, low) and the attitude (positive, neutral, critical) are determined. Now the stakeholders can be easily visualized graphically and subsequently analyzed:

On the X-axis the parameters of interest and on the Y-axis the parameters of influence are marked. Afterwards, stakeholders are positioned accordingly and visualized with bubbles. The color of the bubbles depends on the attitude of the stakeholders.

stakeholder

Stakeholders in the upper right quadrant need the most attention and regular analysis. Stakeholders in the upper left quadrant should also not be overlooked, but their positive influence makes them less critical than the stakeholders of the upper right quadrant. The stakeholders in the lower right quadrant should be kept informed about the project progress. For the stakeholders in the lower left quadrant, it is sufficient to monitor them.

What happens after the stakeholder analysis?

Once the stakeholders have been analyzed, the actual "management" of the stakeholders can start. First, appropriate measures must be defined. Similarly, a responsible person, and if appropriate, a due date should be set. Last but not least, the measures will be given a status so that the progress can be verified.

An ongoing stakeholder analysis as the project progresses, as well as the possible adaptation of measures and the addition of new stakeholders are essential to take full advantage of the stakeholder analysis.

Relevant Project Management Terms

Project Environment  

The project environment is divided into objective and social environmental factors. The objective environment includes technical, economic, organizational, social and legal factors, the social environment includes all persons and groups of persons who have a legitimate interest in the project or its results (stakeholders). The environmental factors affect the project in different ways and must be taken into account by the project manager and team.

Project Environment Analysis  

Project environment analysis means the identification as well as the holistic consideration and systematic listing of all environmental factors (=stakeholders) that have a positive or negative influence on the project. The analysis includes and evaluates, among other things, the attitude towards the project, power and influence, conflict potential as well as expectations and fears of stakeholders.

Stakeholder  

(Project) Stakeholders are those persons who are in any way related to or influenced by the respective project.

Stakeholder Analysis  

Stakeholder analysis is the process of defining and dividing stakeholders into groups and determining their interest (high, medium, low), attitude (positive, neutral, negative) and influence (high, medium, low). If necessary, measures are defined with a responsible person, due date and connection to project tasks. The goal is to satisfy the project stakeholders throughout the entire project process.

Glossary