Efficient Stakeholder Management – Why it is important?

I guess that the underlying construction companies responsible for the IG stadium – as shown above – was not fully aware on the impact their work attitude and work progress has on the general public, or on the media. Both entities, the media and the general public, are stakeholders of major infrastructure projects and have to be taken seriously! Not only to avoid newspaper articles putting a blaming finger on someone, but also to utilize the stakeholders for the good of the project.

Stakeholders in a project come in a range of categories and usually turn up when you least except it. As per Wikipedia a stakeholder is defined as:

Project stakeholders are those entities within or outside an organization which: 1. sponsor a project, or 2. have an interest or a gain upon a successful completion of a project; 3.may have a positive or negative influence in the project completion.

A brief list of examples for project stakeholders (in addition to “the general public” and “the media”):

  • Your very own project employees
  • The steering board of the project
  • Your direct line management
  • The customer and its individual project and non-project-related departments
  • Your subsuppliers and their shareholders
  • Environmental groups
  • Your competitors
  • Competing projects in the region
  • The customers of your customer
  • The major of the city
  • The administrative board
  • The procurement department

In order to avoid newspaper articles or other negative actions on your project it is highly advised that from the beginning of the project an efficient stakeholder management is being set up and lived. Identify the major stakeholders and their attitude towards the project or other stakeholders. Visualize them, best with a mind map or a network diagram, print it and hang it in your project manager office to have a look at daily. Analyze them carefully and see who can influence your project (positively or negatively) and who can’t or only indirectly. Assign measures and if required dedicated staff to deal with these stakeholders. Involve your upper management to take care of the city major or the customer’s CEO. Find out how to make use of your stakeholders in a good way. The same that the newspaper article above is blaming the contractors and the customer, a very different perspective could actually praise the progressiveness of the project and the close-to-completion status of whatever is being constructed.

If you need help to identify your stakeholders or if you want to have a second opinion from an outsider on how to handle them, please feel free to contact me at MLVONSCHAPER AT YAHOO DOT DE.

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