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Project Management Hacks – Know your stakeholders

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There are likely to be several different groups of people taking an interest in your project. Collectively, these people are known as ‘stakeholders’. It’s important to understand the actual stake each group has in the project – otherwise it may be difficult to balance what may seem like competing priorities.

Sponsor

The person who has asked you to undertake the project, and to whom you are accountable for its success. Often, this will be a senior manager within your organisation – may be your immediate boss. On larger projects, or within larger organisations, you may be asked to report to the sponsor via project executive.

Customers or users

These are the people who will make use of the product or service you are designing, whether it be a new school, a product launch party or a company database. A key concern for this group is usability.

Suppliers

This group of stakeholders will undertake the design and delivery of your product or service, to ensure it meets the needs of users or customers. Suppliers also play an important part in risk management.

Project

The people who will help you deliver the project. These could be colleagues from within yor existing team, others from across the organisation, externally recruited specialists, or a mixture of all the three.

Project Manager

That’s probably you! The project manager is accountable for the planning and delivery of the project, including progress reporting and project team management.

Others

Depending on the nature pf your project, other stakeholders might include your board of directors, the media, local or national politicians or industry regulators – even your competitors.

Small wonder: Take time to identify the main stakeholders for your project.

A useful way of classifying a project’s stakeholders is by assessing how interested each group is in the outcome of your project, and the authority they have over it. This enames you to work out the best way to communicate witch each group throughout the project, which is essential both in ensuring continued support and in planning your time.

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