A stakeholder is any individual or entity that is involved directly or indirectly in the implementation and outcome of a business project. Large businesses bring on board various stakeholders to implement a large project whose outcome has a significant impact on the parties involved. Stakeholders are divided into two namely primary and secondary stakeholders. Typically, primary stakeholders are individuals who are directly affected by the outcome of a project thus implying that the success or failure of a project has a significant impact on an individuals or entities. They include project managers, customers, team members, and employees. Secondary stakeholders, on the other hand, are individuals indirectly involved in the development of a project. They act as facilitators in project accomplishment by ensuring the project is in line with the set conditions and objectives. Secondary stakeholders include the government, banks, regulatory bodies, and advisors. Essentially, the individuals that are not affected by the outcome of the project. Failure of a project leads to massive losses for primary stakeholders especially the financiers. In this regard, all stakeholders have to be involved in the successful accomplishment of a project. Bringing out the importance of stakeholder involvement is instrumental in the achievement of the paper's objective
Importance of Stakeholder Participation to the Success of a Project
A project takes four major phases before it comes to shape. They include project identification, project planning, project implementation and finally project monitoring. Each of the four phases comprises of stakeholders who play critical roles in ensuring the project proceeds to the next phase.
Stakeholder involvement in project identification
Company executives are the major stakeholders in the whole project since they are affected massively by the outcome of the project. While identifying a project to implement, the individuals consider various factors the major ones being the source of funding, labor especially skilled and none-skilled, the management of the project among other factors (Davis, 2016). Company executives bring on board advisors who aid the executives make informed decisions on the project they intend to implement. The major stakeholders involved during project identification are financial advisors and professionals linked to the project a firm intends to undertake. The individuals share their insights on the current processes and the future changes that are likely to affect the success of the project.
Notably, the advisors also aid the management in the selection of credible secondary stakeholders, especially creditors, suppliers of raw materials and various service providers who might be involved in the accomplishment of the project. Mok, Shen, and Yang (2015) assert that involving the stakeholders in project identification plays an instrumental role in uncovering potential risks and challenges that the implementers might face during implementation. Notably, some risks are too severe especially if the project involves the construction of a mega project such as a large building, highway or machinery. It is crucial to avert some risks before they happen since their occurrence can have a massive fatality including loss of lives in extreme cases. It is during this stage that the stakeholders give ideas on the best ways to mitigate the potential risks thus their participation is paramount (Strande, Ronteltap, & Brdjanovic, 2014). The individuals work collaboratively to ensure that the mitigation strategies developed will limit the ramifications of the risks as much as possible. The engagement of various stakeholders brings out critical insights that company executives might have overlooked in the project implementation phase. Notably, some organizations do not qualify to undertake certain projects because of some legal constraints. It is at this stage that such insights are shared and help the company choose an ideal project that would give the anticipated outcome on completion. In light of the above, the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders facilitate the development of an effective project.
Stakeholder Participation in Project Planning
Project planning is instrumental since it is at this stage that the stakeholders make crucial decisions on how the project proposal will be turned into a reality. The planning process is extensive and requires a total commitment of all stakeholders. Evaluation of the commitment of stakeholders is significant since their fallout at the implementation stage can have detrimental effects on the success of the project. According to Madeeha and Imran (2014), all stakeholders are required to sign various documents declaring their commitment to seeing the project to completion despite the challenges they might face in the process. Notably choosing reliable stakeholders is crucial since some might be committed but lack the necessary resources to see the project to completion. Evaluating the delivery capability of the stakeholders can play a significant role in preventing possible mishaps that might occur during the implementation stage of the project.
The project owners should be selective on the individual they choose as the project manager since the individual will be responsible for most of the activities undertaken in the project. The individual ought to possess effective project management skills and considerable experience in project management. Ellis (2016) asserts that limited project management skills can cripple the project success. The project management skills the individual must have include effective management of funds and raw materials, excellent management of employees and mu be a good team player who can promote cohesiveness among all stakeholders involved. The financiers of the project must be reliable, especially if the project is capital intensive. For timely completion of a project, effective allocation of funds is necessary. Involving stakeholders will ensure they select an effective financier in case the owners of the project intend to source funds externally (Davis, 2014). Involving all stakeholders in planning the budget of the project is critical. It plays a significant role in uncovering hidden costs that can hinder the accomplishment of the project. Moreover, effective planning of finances limits unscrupulous individuals who might have the intention of defrauding the project, especially if the project is a mega-project (Chang, 2013). Additionally, coming with a comprehensive budget aids in selecting a credible financier since some financial institutions might lack the capability to provide the required funds for the project.
Involving government officials in the planning process is crucial for they enlighten the implementation team on all the standard the project should comply with in course of its implementation. Moreover, involving officials from various regulatory bodies based on the outcome of the project can play an instrumental role in unraveling some potential risks that might increase the cost of maintenance after completion of the project (Davis, 2016). Typically, the major regulatory bodies are those involved with environmental conservation. The officials share crucial strategies that the project owners can apply to limit the cost of operations. For instance, in case the project involves putting up a megastructure, they can enlighten them on the best approaches to apply to limit power and water use. Moreover, they can enlighten the team players on how they can limit pollution during project implementation and on completion.
Involving the community in the planning process is fundamental, especially for a megaproject especially one involving the construction of an extensive structure such as a dam, building or highway. According to Bourne (2016), the hostility of the surrounding community can hinder the implementation of the project since some of them might fail to understand the benefits of the project. Moreover, implementation of a certain project can create massive inconvenience to the surrounding community leading to some severe consequences, especially if the area of implementation is densely populated. Typically, community leaders can help the implementation team explain the importance of the project to the community and the benefits they stand to enjoy (Madeeha & Imran, 2014). Community leaders can also help in calming the community in case processes such as relocation are necessary. The surrounding community plays an integral role in providing unskilled labor thus involving some community officials can facilitate sourcing of reliable workers who will see the project to completion.
Stakeholder Association in Project Implementation
The implementation phase of the project is the most crucial since it entails executing all the ideas and plans developed. The input of all stakeholders is paramount at this stage. Division of labor plays a crucial role in fast accomplishment tasks. The project manager works alongside skilled personnel with vast skills in various areas. The project manager alongside human resource officials assign the various individuals duties to execute as per the project's objective. Employees have the role of delivering high quality services to avoid wastage of raw materials and limit supervision. The project manager has a significant role in ensuring that project workers are content since poor working conditions can limit their service delivery and delay accomplishment of the project. Moreover, the pay has to be satisfactory since it is the major motivation for delivering quality work. The supervisors ought to explain clearly to the employees the expected outcome of the project thus making them work towards its achievement. Additionally, doing so limits wastage of raw materials while conducting corrections.
Upholding communication among all the stakeholders plays a significant role in the implementation phase. The project managers seek clarification constantly from various stakeholders thus, they ought to ensure there are reachable at all times. According to Druschke and Hychka (2016), some challenges emerge during the implementation phase of the project thus calling for re-strategizing. The internal stakeholders ought to avail themselves when called upon to plan the next step. Typically, delaying some projects can lead to massive losses in the end because of degeneration. Suppliers play a crucial role in the implementation phase since the timely supply of raw materials is crucial in this phase. Constant communication with them keeps them alert on the progress of the project and makes them prepare in advance what to deliver. Notably, effective communication with the suppliers makes the project managers seek alternative options in case shortage of crucial raw materials occurs (Strande, Ronteltap, & Brdjanovic, 2014). On the other hand, the accountants handling the project finances have to ensure they make timely payments in the purchase of the raw materials to avoid delays. Accounting officials coordinate with human resource officials to ensure timely payments of all service providers in the project.
Project inspection plays a critical role in ensuring that the project in line with the set prototype. The step also ensures any errors done in the process are corrected on time since delays in the correction of errors can have detrimental effects on the project's success. Officials from regulatory bodies, the government and certain professionals coordinate to ensure that the project meets all the standards at all stages (Ellis, 2016). They have the mandate of enquiring on the progress of the project and visit the site regularly to see the progress of the project....
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