Dictionary.com defines a "stakeholder" as "a person or group that has an investment, share, or interest in something, as a business or industry."
"Stakeholder management is the process of managing the expectation of anyone that has an interest in a project or will be effected by its deliverables or outputs. Proper stakeholder analysis and management is critical to a project as the commitment and support of all stakeholders makes achieving a project’s objectives considerably easier, whereas disaffected stakeholders can damage much other positive work on a project and threaten the achievement of a project’s objectives.
Stakeholder management plans should be completed very early in a project to prevent the need to fire fight rumour and misinformation. Stakeholder management consists of four phases:
- Stakeholder identification
- Analysis of each stakeholder and development of a tailored stakeholder management plan for each stakeholder group (and potentially tailored within a group)
- Execution of the plan
- Monitoring the effectiveness of the plan’s implementation and modifying/improving each plan as appropriate throughout the project