Identify Stakeholders Process in Project Management

Identify stakeholders is a project management process used in waterfall approach, and it can be tailored for agile environments when needed. As we mentioned several times before, stakeholders are people or organizations who have the potential to affect the success of the objectives of a project or who are affected by the project somehow. In order for a project to succeed, the active and passive engagement of project stakeholders who are affected by the project in any way or have the potential to affect the project in any way must be well managed. In order to do this, it is necessary to first determine which stakeholders exist and to analyze the interests, needs, and characteristics of these stakeholders well.

Therefore, it is necessary to know who the project stakeholders are, what impact they have on the project or how they are affected by the project, their position on the project and the requirements of the stakeholders and to manage the participation of the stakeholders very well. All of the questions that you may encounter for stakeholders in the PM certification exams will also be aimed at ensuring the participation of stakeholders. so, what can be the premise of processes for ensuring the folding of stakeholders? Is it possible to manage stakeholder engagement without knowing who your stakeholders are and what characteristics they have? At this point, the process of identifying project stakeholders becomes more important for PM exams. Therefore Stakeholders should be identified as early as possible. Typically following the creation of the project charter document.

Some may have a very positive attitude and have important contributions to the project while others might be a little more negative. Stakeholders of a project should be identified as early as they can be after the project started. Because it is essential to take stakeholders into consideration for almost every decision taken in project planning. After the first identification endeavor, this process continues throughout the project's life.

In order to be able to identify stakeholders correctly, there are plenty of sources to check for. In other terms your options are limitless. However, there are also some actions recommended. One of these actions is taking a look at contracts. It is because contracts are great sources of information about people who may be affected by the project. At least, key stakeholders take place in contracts. Secondly, you may evaluate historical data and similar projects which were carried out before. There is a good chance of catching a few common stakeholders from historical projects. Additionally, consulting an expert may be very useful, especially in projects which necessitate expert-level knowledge about the main subject.

Individuals or organizations whose interests are positively or negatively affected by the project and whose effectiveness or influence on the project are qualified as project stakeholders. In other words, stakeholders are those who actually have something to gain or lose as a result of the completion or implementation of the project. We have defined what actually a stakeholder is in the stakeholder management knowledge area also. Along with the develop project charter process, identify stakeholders process is categorized in initiating process group and stakeholder management knowledge area. In the new approach, there are performance domains instead of knowledge areas, and they should be considered together with project management principles and value delivery system. Stakeholder identification is a part of stakeholder performance domain. 

The process of identifying project stakeholders should be a process that the project manager and the project team perform together. Since the requirements, behaviors, support, or resistance of stakeholders to the project can have very important consequences for the project, the process of identifying project stakeholders should be considered in great detail. If there is a stakeholder whose requirements have not been identified or understood, and this stakeholder has somehow been omitted in the process of identifying stakeholders, problems or new requirements that may arise due to the fact that this stakeholder has not been identified will eventually arise. These stakeholder demands and new requirements that come at the late stages of the project can seriously trouble the project. Therefore, we have to analyze the stakeholders well at the earliest possible stage of the project, and then update the stakeholder list and assumption log by going through progressive elaboration processes during the project.
identify stakeholders

Outputs Created in Identify Stakeholders Process

  • Stakeholder register
  • Change requests

Outputs Updated in Identify Stakeholders Process

Inputs of Identifying Stakeholders Process

Tools & Techniques used in Identification of Project Stakeholders

  • Brainstorming
  • Questionnaires and surveys
  • Document analysis
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Stakeholder mapping/representation
  • Meetings
  • Expert judgment
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