Since early ages, projects have existed in every human being’s life as part of their everyday developing process; these projects could be as simple as building an individual’s home in an open field, or as complex as creating an organized empire capable of ruling great extensions of land.
For example, over 4.500 years ago, Egypt's rulers, obsessedwith the afterlife, felt the need to glorify themselves in stone by constructing the great pyramids, and even though the decision to build a pyramid was a project that did not have strong oppositors since it was the Pharaoh’s decision, it would definitely affect the lives of all Egyptians who took part on the construction of the great pyramids (and even the lives of those Egyptians who were notdirectly involved in the construction). We could say that this particular project affected, positively or negatively, the interests, desires, and lives of many people.
These people are said to be stakeholders of the project.
According to the “Project Management Book of Knowledge (version 2004)” , Stakeholders are “Persons and organizations such as customers, sponsors,performing organization and the public, that actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project. They may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables.”
Now that we know the definition of a stakeholder, we can say that involving a representative group of Stakeholders along with the customers duringinitiation process, particularly the planning process of the project, generally improves the probability of shared ownership, deliverable acceptance, and customer's and other Stakeholder's satisfaction.
By defining how to identify Stakeholders by skills, capabilities, and knowledge, the Project Management plan can be better structured and established.
So let’s go deeper in the subject ofStakeholder Identification, and their capabilities and influences on a particular project.
By using Participation Analysis¹ we aim to identify all persons, institutions, etc. involved in a project, in addition to the target group and the implementing organization. This type of analysis speculates on their expected support or opposition to the program.
This analysisis used at the preliminary stages of a project in order to incorporate the interests and expectations of persons and groups who are significant to the project or program.
According to this analysis, all parties which are likely to be affected by the development, both positively or negatively, directly or indirectly, should be listed.
In order to better explain the contents of this essay,let’s analyze the example of a new residential building located in a semi developed part of Bogotá where a few old buildings cohabited with poor wooden houses.
Because of the many roles a stakeholder can have on a particular project, we can start by understanding that there are people who:
Are concerned in any way with the project (Positive and Negative Stakeholder²)
Are located in the region Hold an influential position
May be affected by the problems addressed in the project
In the case mentioned above, our example showed that some people were happy with the new building since it would help develop some urban parts or the neighborhood, which would improve security by having better visible areas.
Then, we have the negative stakeholders who felt that a parking and commercialplace they used to have, would be from now on replaced by a building of rich people who would not let them perform their commercial activities and would call the police if they saw these old habitants use the new place for their usual activities.
The constructor knew that he had to group the parties involved by type of organization; i.e., individuals, organizations, government, companies,...