Projects require people as it is the people who conceive the idea of the project. This is not only limited to the designing of the project plan, its approval, execution and closing. People are impacted by the outcome of the project. Whether the project is implementing a new software system, a new business unit, or a new bridge, there will be an impact on people. All of these people are stakeholders (Roeder, 2013).
Freeman, Harrison and Wicks (2007) states that business can be understood as a set of relationships among groups that have a stake in the activities that make up the business. Business is about how customers, suppliers, employees, financiers (stakeholders, bondholders, banks and so on), communities and managers interact and create value. Customers, suppliers, employees, financiers, communities and the managers are all key parts of today’s business organization.
The project management team must identify the stakeholders, determine their requirements and then manage and identify those requirements to ensure a successful project. Stakeholder’s identification is often difficult. Key stakeholders on every project include: Project manager this is the individual responsible for managing the project. Customers are the individuals or organization that will use the project’s product. There may be multiple layers of customers. Project team members are the group that performs the work of the project and sponsor the individual or group within or external to the performance organization that provided the financial resources, in cash or in kind, for the project (Project Management institute, 2000)
Walker, Bourne & Shelley (2008) on the other hand categorizes stakeholders in four groups: upstream stakeholders, downstream stakeholders, downstream supply chain partners, external stakeholders and the project team stakeholders group. Upstream stakeholders comprise the paying customer and end users of the product/service. Downstream supply chain stakeholders include suppliers and subcontractors. External stakeholders are often ignored and comprise the general community and independent concerned individuals or groups who feel that they will be affected by the project and its outcome. These include invisible stakeholders who engage with the project team in delivering the ultimate project benefit but whose cooperation and support is vital for project success. Project stakeholder group comprises the project sponsor or champion as well as the project delivery team.
Stakeholder involvement is planned for clear identification of scope of the project. Stakeholders need to be clear on the decisions to be made so that the participation process can be designed to best support that decision. The role of stakeholder participation is to support better decisions relating projects and to process to ensure their aspirations and concerns are directly reflected in the decision process (Twyford and Baldwin, 2006).
Schmidt (2012) states that stakeholder involvement is very...