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Stakeholders – Who Are They and Why Do You Need Them?

At start of a project it’s from utmost importance that a project manager finds out which results are expected and which requirements have to be fulfilled. You can guarantee it that the project will fail or at least fail to deliver the requested result(s) whenever these are not well captured. Logically, at that moment, you will pose yourself the question: ‘How can I obtain all the requirements?’ The answer is as simple as the question itself: ‘You should talk with the persons having an interest in the project, also known as stakeholders’.

According to the definition, stakeholders are those persons or groups that have an interest in the project and whom can be affected by the result. This affect can either be positive or negative. But they are also the persons or groups which can exercise influence on the results of the project and this also both in positive and negative sense.

So it’s thus very important to take them into account. Not only the requirements and needs they have, but also with their aspirations. After all, the influence that some stakeholders may have can be harmful for the project.

Although not every stakeholder category is equally important, it is important for them to actively monitor. A shift in category may require you to act upon it. Involving all stakeholders in the change accelerates and increases the chances of success. If you know who the stakeholders are and what interests they have, you can take it up to your advantage

So, to conclude our question if we need stakeholders or not, we could say as project manager: ‘No’ or ‘It depends’ or ‘Those that I need are those who do not interfere with my project, who don’t do anything to delay the project and are there to take decisions when they need to be taken’. However, in reality, the fact is that we need these stakeholders and they have the right to be part of the project, certain if their interest is high.

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