Identify Stakeholders



We’ve started a new series of posts concerning the project management best practice processes described in the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOKⓇ Guide). Our first post discussed Develop Project Charter, the formal start of a project, and this post addresses the process called Identify Stakeholders.


Who are Stakeholders?

Identify Stakeholders


Stakeholders are anyone involved in, or impacted by, your project. Many projects do to a poor job identifying stakeholders and/or understanding stakeholder expectations, and therefore new stakeholders “appear” in the middle of the project. Generally, these new stakeholders are not in a good frame of mind because they have been ignored until now, and they have new requirements, which are obviously disruptive for the project.


What’s the purpose of Identify Stakeholders?


Identify Stakeholders attempts to cast a wide net, to create a complete list of potential stakeholders, and to identify some basic stakeholder characteristics. The project manager then classifies and prioritizes the stakeholders, since not all Stakeholders can be handled the same way. In fact, some stakeholder may not be contacted by the project at all. But this is a proactive decision on the part of the project team, rather than an oversight.


What is a Stakeholder Register?


The Stakeholder Register is the table where the project team captures the stakeholder identification and classification information. It is created early in the project, but updated as needed throughout the project as new and more detailed information becomes available.


Who performs Identify Stakeholders?


Everyone. As you meet with stakeholders you already know, to discuss their involvement in the project, one of the questions you should ask them is, “Who else do you know that might be impacted by this project?”


Interested to know more about this process?


Check out one of our project management best practices courses.



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