Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining stakeholders, part of Project Management Foundations: Stakeholders.
- The term stakeholder means: "An organization, group, or individual "who could impact or be impacted by your project." They literally "have a stake in" or are affected by an activity, decision, or outcome of your project work. It's often easy to spot key stakeholders, those who have money, resources, or power on the project. Yet a good project team will be certain to identify all stakeholders for ultimate project success.
A few years ago, Denver, Colorado was looking for a construction company to do a major build out of our primary freeway through the heart of downtown. The search included checking references of how previous cities experienced the final contenders' work. The company that won the contract had high marks from the previous key stakeholders and the residents and daily commuters of the previous city. During our project, there were four old bridges that had to come down to expand the freeway, with new ones being built first to replace them.
There were also other contract requirements, such as three lanes of traffic must remain open during morning and evening rush hours, so local workers could easily traverse the roadways to and from their daily jobs. Given that project constraint, when would you take down a bridge? You got it, during the middle of the night. The quickest way to remove an old bridge was to carefully set up explosive charges to blow up the old bridge. This contractor was so keenly aware of all their stakeholders, remember anyone affected by a project activity, decision, or outcome, that they clearly communicated their demolition plans for each bridge through the local news stations, and offered hotel vouchers for anyone close enough to the blast region that the work activity might disturb their sleep.
Now that's an organization who understands not only who their stakeholders are, but how important every stakeholder is, and how stakeholder experiences in one project can impact future project opportunities. Believe me, their care and treatment of what some might view as the least important stakeholder went a long way to make their current customer happy and open opportunities for future work based on the resounding recommendations of very satisfied individuals, offering glowing testimonials.
Remember, every stakeholder is crucial to the success of your project.
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