Project Management

Project Stakeholders

Their Roles and Contribution

"What you manage in business is people."  ~ Harold Geneen


Stakeholders in Project Management

  • Project leader (or project manager) the head of the project; defines, plans, controls, and leads the project

  • Project team members produce the outputs (deliverables) for the project; participate in the project management process; contribute their skills and effort to perform tasks

  • Sponsor (or upper manager) the person with formal authority who is ultimately responsible for the project; oversees the project; acts as a liaison between the upper management team and the project leader; provides authority, guidance, and maintains project priority

  • Project customer the person or group whose needs and requirements drive the project; receives the final output(s) that the project produces; provides product requirements and funding

  • Functional managers (also known as resource managers or line managers) provide company policy an resources, particularly people who are involved in the project

Identifying Stakeholders a Primary and an Ongoing Task

"Satisfy stakeholders!" is the project manager's mantra. For successful projects, it's not enough to deliver on the customer's demand; projects have to meet all stakeholder expectations. Identifying stakeholders is a primary task because all the important decisions during the initiation, planning and execution stages of the project are made by these stakeholders.

The five primary project stakeholders are the project manager, the project team, the functional management, the sponsor, and the customer.  In a larger sense, anyone who participates in the project or is impacted by its results is a stakeholder. Each stakeholder has an essential contribution to make and all stakeholder expectations need to be met. Contribution made by different people to the project is the principal criteria for identifying stakeholders.