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Stakeholders

August 5, 2009
The individuals inside or outside an organization who impact or who are impacted by a project are called stakeholders. A key role of the project manager is to manage these stakeholders. Typical project stakeholders include:
ᅡᄋ Client: Receives product of the project. Approves deliverables, articulates requirements. May be on Change Review Board.
ᅡᄋ Project team: Those directly responsible for delivering the product of the project. May be a cross-functional team and can include outside consultants or members of supplier organizations.
ᅡᄋ Project sponsor: An individual¬タヤor a group¬タヤwho provides resources and direction for the project manager as they relate to the completion of the project. Serves as advisor to the project manager. Approves the Charter, thus establishing a contract defining the work of the project. Will sit on¬タヤand often chair¬タヤthe Change Review Board.
ᅡᄋ Discipline specific (functional) or geographic managers: Supply resources and/or skills to project as directed by the project sponsor. May provide subject matter expertise. May be on Change Review Board.
ᅡᄋ Vendors/suppliers: Provide inputs to the project. Can be goods (e.g., computer hardware/software/telecom equipment, raw materials for manufacturing processes, computer support systems) or services (e.g., consulting support, training).
ᅡᄋ The project manager: As alluded to earlier, the “cat herder.” Expert in all matters of consequence as they relate to the project.
Many times, stakeholder needs will conflict. As the project manager begins to develop the project’s Charter, he or she should take the time to get to know the needs, wants, desires, and anxieties of the project’s stakeholders. An important tool to help the project manager develop an understanding of the stakeholders is the stakeholder analysis chart, which he or she should begin to compile. This is the beginning of the project manager’s understanding about what he or she must do to keep stakeholders engaged and contributing to the project.
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