The success or failure of any project mainly relies on efficient and effective stakeholder management. Stakeholder management plays a crucial role in the successful delivery of any project and is considered as an art or attribute of strong engagement and communication. It is a systematic approach to identify, analyse, plan and implement actions for the success of any project by positively engaging the stakeholders and managing their business requirements.
Stakeholders are individuals or a group of people who are directly or indirectly impacted by the eventual outcome of the project. These individuals and groups of people can have significant influence over the final success or failure of the project.
Classification of Stakeholders
It is of utmost importance to correctly analyse and identify the key stakeholders of the project. With the help of stakeholder analysis, we are able to classify them and understand their business needs and project requirements to be catered.
There are basically 2 types of stakeholders -
- Internal Stakeholders — These are the people who are already committed and directly involved with the organization such as team members (Development, QA and peers), managers, the board of directors and investors
- External Stakeholders — They are a group of people or entities not within a business itself but directly impacted by the project outcome such as customers or end-users, suppliers, investors, government regulatory bodies and society
Techniques of Stakeholder Management
A business analyst or a project manager must have a few key attributes to manage the project stakeholders for the success of the project and keeping the end-users engaged and happy.
- Active listening ability to understand the stakeholder’s personality and expectations.
- Discussing key issues, risks, taking agreements and respective sign-offs
- Gather feedback and business pain points to address the new request or issues in a timely manner
- Transferable soft skills by which stakeholders feel heard and understood to make them feel motivated and gain the confidence to build a positive and strong relationship
- Ask for advice and listen to them carefully, raise a flag if something is unclear about the expectations
- Accept their authority without any conflicting interest, remove negative emotions and try to understand what they exactly want
- A person should be honest, transparent and tactful with the stakeholders
- Effective communication skills to tailor conversation as per stakeholder’s personality
- The most important part is to keep them engaged and provide regular updates of the key project milestones
The earlier we engage and get feedback from stakeholders, the more likely we are able to realize the right key benefits by planning and customizing things ahead as per business requirements.
In a nutshell, key stakeholders are the people who have the power to make or break the deal and they are the ultimate decision-maker for the success or failure of the project.
Even if we meet all the project defined deliverables and agreed on objectives within the stipulated timelines but if key stakeholders are not satisfied then the whole purpose is defeated and entire project effort has gone for a toss.
Author — Amulya Jain, DLT Labs™
About the Author: Amulya Jain has vast experience in Business Analysis and Product Management, specifically into Investment Banking/Capital Market domain, along with Insurance and Telecom sector. He is well-versed with Business Transformation and RPA consulting, managed end to end product delivery for various clients across different regions, and liaised extensively with Business Consultants, Architects, Project Managers, and Technology teams.