Big, comprehensive projects tend to have many stakeholders – some have so many that it is not possible to speak to all of them and analyze the results with the available resources. In such cases it important to use a stakeholder analysis to identify interested parties for particular requirements – and to limit oneself to this list.
It is important that all the stakeholders and their relevant information are documented in detail. Dealing with them effectively means dealing with a continual flow of information. The goal is to turn people into participants. They should be integrated into a project and should not be left “outside”. Otherwise there could be lack of motivation on the part of stakeholders – or even hidden (or open) resistance.
Stakeholder management is often equated with caring for project participants. Sometimes the stakeholder management team needs to present information – an approach that gives attention to a particular role or function. We see stakeholder management as a comprehensive approach in dealing with stakeholders – from the identification all the way to the analysis and the communication. You can define these terms for yourself, as long as you know who the most important stakeholders are and what their goals are. You should base your solutions, products and projects on them and be aware of what they want to know – and communicate that to them.
A final tip: Question your own knowledge regularly. People change their opinions and interest levels may rise or fall. The sooner you identify these changes, the more the possible damage can be contained and the more successful your project will be.