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Trainer insights: Understanding stakeholders: Who are they and what do they want?


Who cares? Our stakeholders! Projects vary; day to day, team to team, organisation to organisation, industry to industry. Every single project has its own set of interested parties, but who are they and what do they want? Here are the stakeholders explained…

The Project Sponsor

The project sponsor (or executive) is typically a senior member of an organisation. The individual in this role is ultimately accountable for the project and provides the funding. Their role is crucial. They set out the project's direction, secure buy-in from other stakeholders, and ensure alignment with programme management and organizational goals. Without a committed, informed sponsor, projects will lack essential resources and will fail.

The Project Team

The project team is an overarching term for individuals directly involved in executing the project tasks. Their importance cannot be overstated. They are responsible for turning our plans into reality through hard work. Motivated and skilled team members drive our projects forwards through development and manufacturing. Communication and collaboration within the team are essential for achieving project objectives.

Clients or Customers

Clients or customers are the end-users who benefit from the project deliverables. They start off in our project saying “I need” or “I want” and by the end of the project should be shaking hands with our team and saying “thank you” for producing the product requested. Understanding their needs, preferences, and expectations is fundamental for project success and product acceptance.

Suppliers and Vendors

Suppliers and vendors provide goods, services, or resources for project execution. Their delivery and quality directly impact project in terms of quality, information and execution. Strong relationships with suppliers ensures smooth project operations and maximises efficiency. Additionally negotiating with suppliers helps control project costs and aids product delivery.

Regulators and Authorities

Many projects operate within frameworks governed by external entities such as government agencies, industry regulators and unions. An organisations compliance with legal requirements, permits, and wider standards is critical to avoid delays, fines, or legal issues. Inviting regulatory bodies to your project early in the lifecycle and then maintaining transparency helps a project manager avoid complexities and ensure total compliance.

Community and Public

Often overlooked or forgotten about, the surrounding community and the public can be significantly affected by your project, or have a significant impact themselves. Stakeholders in this category may include residents, local businesses, or focus groups affected by the project's activities or outcomes. Proactively addressing concerns, communicating project benefits, and collating feedback will minimize resistance or opposition to the project, thus making project management an easier task.

How should we address these stakeholders?

Each individual stakeholder and stakeholder group brings something different to a project. Different perspectives, interests, experiences and influence can be major helping hand, or a major barrier to success. Successful project management involves identifying stakeholders, understanding their needs, managing all expectations, and engaging with each stakeholder effectively. How we assess who needs what information, when, how and why they need it is a key topic discussed on my training courses.

About Harley

Having worked in the industry since 2016, Harley’s experience is vast and knowledge of project management methods is of an elite standard. He has covered a wide variety of roles in a plethora of projects and has worked with some incredible project professionals over the years; there is seldom a scenario that Harley has not encountered.

Residing in Poole, Dorset Harley has specialized in maritime projects and programmes in and around the stunning natural harbour. From project managing major yachting events, to advising on risk management approaches, the natural elements have thrown endless challenges into projects where Harley has strategically extracted the best outcomes from each scenario. These tales make up some of Harley’s most interesting  examples used when delivering his training of which attendees enjoy.

SPOCE is proud to have industry leading pass rates for delegates in the PRINCE2® and APM methods which Harley has played a vital part in achieving. Starting his training career in 2019, he would run sessions such as “what makes the perfect business case?” and the much loved “PRINCE2 Practitioner exam workshops”.

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Call;    01202 736 373 

email: sales@spoce.com

Want to know more? Join me on one of my upcoming course dates! Simply call 0800 151 0140 to select your date and be ready to dive deeper into stakeholders, stakeholder management and stakeholder engagement.