Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding your stakeholders, part of Business Analysis Foundations.
- Running a project and not gathering requirements from all the stakeholders is like driving a car without oil in the tank. It's dangerous, and you wont get very far. User involvement is commonly soughed as the number one or two reason for project success. So identifying them and managing their expectations is paramount to avoiding surprises later in your project. You need stakeholders to be involved so they can provide you with the information on what they want. The priority they put around their requirements and the commitment they have to see the project through to successful completion.
A stakeholder can be a person, department, or functional area, internal or external to the organization. And it's directly involved with or affected by the area being analyzed. Identifying stakeholders and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement, dependencies, influence, and potential impact on the success of the project early on, enables you to plan and react to their evolving needs. Not identifying the areas that have a stake in the project early will introduce a significant risk of the requirements not being captured and assessed.
Spending the time early to identify stakeholders within your project, also saves you time during later stages. When you need to go and identify the detail requirements from each and everyone of them. You need to ensure their required change is understood, and that any changes don't impact on the success of the project. Beware, is the stakeholder that you fail to identify will be the one who will cause you the most pain. The way to get around this is by clarifying and classifying the stakeholders into four major stakeholder groups.
The stakeholder group starts with clients and customers. These are the recipients of the outcome, product, or service of the project. Secondly there's the governance area. The systems and processes that are in place for ensuring proper accountability and openness in the conduct of the business. These are the legislation, regulation, policies, procedures, business rules and guidelines that the project must comply with. Thirdly, there are the service providers. They provide resources and support mechanisms to enable the project delivery.
These include supplies of consumables, equipment and components. And lastly, you have partner stakeholders. These are stakeholders that are jointly engaged in the execution of the activities to perform the outcomes of the project, such as preferred contractors. After identifying the stakeholders, the best thing to do is go back to your team and two other stakeholders and ask a very simple question. Who is missing? Consider entering these stakeholder types into the stakeholder's contacts diagram, which can be found in the exercise files for this course.
Encirculated to the project manager, and more importantly, the owner of the project, the project sponsor, who is far more intimate with the project and accountable for its success. Stakeholder identification answers our basic question. Where in the organization will we go to start work? It'll help guide you through the interactive part of the analysis and your gathering information and listing requirements. It also forces you to think in real world terms about specific departments, their functions, and relationships.
Stakeholders may also exert influence over the project and its results. So I like to create a stakeholder analysis table and answer the following questions. These questions help to identify and determine how to manage the stakeholder through the life of the project. What do they value most? How will their commitment to the project and the work be measured? What authority do they have to effect the required change? Have they clearly communicated their needs and requirements? What areas/stakeholders are in conflict? Are they willing to take ownership upon project completion? Who will have the most influence/impact on project success? And how do you handle the stakeholder that gets the short end of the stick? Stakeholder analysis performed as soon as a business need's identified and will continue throughout the life of the project.
Its help to also group stakeholders into categories that reflect their involvement, or interest in the initiative. By understanding stakeholder influence and attitudes, and assessing positive and negative attitudes and behaviors, you will affect the successful outcome of the project.
Discover where business analysis lives in the project life cycle, how to initiate a project, the best way to gather requirements, and smart strategies to monitor results and test outcomes.
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- Understanding what business analysts do
- Defining business opportunities and objectives
- Identifying stakeholders
- Gathering requirements through observation and brainstorming
- Validating requirements
- Developing project acceptance criteria
- Implementing, testing, and closing your project<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.