A stakeholder is a person, a group, or an organization that is actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the results achieved by or the completion of the project. As I have extensively covered this topic in my previous article in the PMP Exam prep series we will keep this article short.
Please do refer to the article to understand more about the different stakeholders in a project because irrespective of whether the project management style is Agile or Traditional, the concept of stakeholder doesn't change.
A project manager should identify both the internal and external stakeholders of and their influence levels on the project as early as possible (in terms of projects life cycle)
Why are Stakeholders Important?
Individual stakeholders often have different conflicting objectives. For Example, if you are given the responsibility of setting up a new factory in a city, you could have stakeholders that welcome the move (politicians in the area) whereas you could also have stakeholders who oppose the move (locals who don't want to sell their land for the factory). As project manager, your responsibility includes identifying all the stakeholders who will have a positive or negative influence on the project so that you can foresee potential risks & impacts on your Project.
In my article on Stakeholders, I have listed down the 12 Most common stakeholders that every Project would have. Don't forget to check it out by Clicking here
Though Stakeholder Management was part of PMBOK 4th Edition, in the 5th Edition, a new Knowledge Area got introduced called Project Stakeholder Management. That is how much importance PMI gives toward managing project stakeholders. The following articles from the PMP Exam series on Stakeholder Management will also be useful for you to understand more about Stakeholder Management. Check them out.
You the Project Manager is an extremely important stakeholder for the Project as well. That's why I spent an entire article talking about just you. The article is titled “The Most Influential Stakeholder” which is appropriate because you will have a direct impact on the success or failure of the project.
Do take time and read it before you move further on this series.