Stakeholder was a group, individual, company, or any parties who have interested or involved in a project directly or indirectly. These were the group usually bring a significant impact on the outcome of the project. The project would go “haywire” if the team failed to manage the stakeholder positively.
Stakeholders usually classified by their level of impact and level of interest. The level of impact means the level of the influence of the stakeholder towards the overall project. While the level of interest involves the level of involvement needed from each stakeholder. All the stakeholder could be divided into four levels generally :
Level 1: High Impact – High Interest (Eg: Sponsor, Top management, etc.)
Level 2 : High Impact – Low interest (Eg: other Division head, shareholder, etc.)
Level 3: Low Impact – High Interest (Eg: Consumer, competitor, etc.)
Level 4: Low Impact – Low Interest (Eg: public, etc.)
Stakeholders, which fell under level 1, was the key person in the project whom the project team needs to pay full attention to communicate with them. The team need to keep them informed closely and take their input seriously as this was the group of people who may jeopardise the whole project.
Next was those stakeholders in level 2; they might have some influence on the project, but they were not necessarily engaging in the project until there was a direct impact on them. Therefore, the project team always needs to keep them satisfied by copying the information to them to keep them informed.
Stakeholders who fell into Level 3 & 4 were those who have minimum influence on the project. However, it does not mean all the input from stakeholders of these two levels could neglect totally. Their high interest could make them useful to the team at some point, Eg: Environmental Bodies who protest towards your construction projects, they were a stakeholder in level 3, but they could provoke the public (who was level 4) to go against your plan if the team refuse to talk to them. The best approach to manage these two levels of stakeholders was to provide as much information as you can but listen to them if needed to avoid confusion.
Managing stakeholders was always a challenge in a project, but you may significantly increase your project success rate if you could adequately manage all levels of stakeholders and keep them satisfied.