Stakeholders are arguably among the essential components of project planning and management. Stakeholders are defined as individuals, groups, or organizations affected or can affect a particular project (Silvius & Schipper, 2019). Consequently, project management necessitates stakeholder interaction to ascertain stakeholder needs and wants that influence decision-making. According to Rajhans (2018), the successful implementation and achievement of project goals and objectives hinge upon effective stakeholder engagement. Therefore, projects are actualized through stakeholder engagement as a tool for the efficacy and relevance of projects (Rajhans, 2018). This research answers the question that poses great challenges in planning and developing projects regarding the responsibility of determining the true needs of a project. Reasonably, the research aims to objectively ascertain that determining stakeholder needs is the development team’s task.
Firstly, to substantiate the claim in the paper, understanding and differentiating stakeholder needs and wants is an important factor of consideration. Contemporary definitions of needs and wants are distinguishable in that ‘wants’ refer to desired outcomes, whereas ‘needs’ are essential for survival. As a result, needs are prioritized before wants in project management. However, determining needs in project management has encountered difficulties due to conflicts of interest among stakeholders, which are considered inevitable (Bahadorestani et al., 2020). Therefore, the stakeholders may have difficulty reaching a consensus and making a decision. According to (Irfan et al. (2019), projects encounter significant delays as project managers struggle to elicit a united agreement. Relatively, delays become detrimental to project planning efficiency.
Project management is arguably a task that requires a scientific approach. Components of project management argue that project managers are the ultimate decision-makers in projects. Subsequently, their decisions should be quick and strong, ascertaining leadership (Irfan et al., 2019). Project managers are inclined to exist in the development team, validating the research discourse that project needs are determined by the development team, albeit supported by stakeholder opinions. Consequently, the development team needs to take charge, playing an important role in developing a consensus among stakeholders.
The development team takes up the position of a mediator in stakeholder engagement and actively ensures the stakeholders agree on particular needs. According to Irfan et al. (2019),project managers can influence the resolution of conflicts through effective communication and ensuring they are unbiased. A preferable approach to establishing agreement is through negotiation that allows civilized deliberation between parties (George, 2020). The approach entails an exchange between parties to reach a reasonable set of agreed priorities. Furthermore, a project manager should be part of the development team that advocates for equal representation of stakeholders.
Conclusively, stakeholders identify and express their opinions on the objectives of a plan. The development supports the stakeholders in relaying their needs that inform the decision made by the development team on priority objectives. The need for proper analysis of stakeholder responses potentially emphasizes the development team’s role in selecting and determining the project’s needs (Bahadorestani et al., 2020). The development team is tasked with innovatively engaging with the stakeholders to get their perception of the project’s needs. Through strategic engagement mechanisms with stakeholders, the development team can mediate and asses project priorities based on engagement with the stakeholders. Wants may not all be met in the process; however, the development will meet the stakeholders’ needs. Therefore, a broader perspective would perceive that the needs are determined through a combined effort that the development team facilitates.
Bahadorestani, A., Naderpajouh, N., & Sadiq, R. (2020). Planning for sustainable stakeholder engagement based on the assessment of conflicting interests in projects. Journal of Cleaner Production, 242, 118402. Web.
George, C. (2020). The management of project conflicts through effective negotiation. ResearchGate. Web.
Irfan, M., Thaheem, M. J., Gabriel, H. F., Malik, M. S. A., & Nasir, A. R. (2019). Effect of stakeholder’s conflicts on project constraints: a tale of the construction industry. International Journal of Conflict Management. Web.
Rajhans, K. (2018). Effective communication management: A key to stakeholder relationship management in project-based organizations. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 12(4).
Silvius, A. J. G., & Schipper, R. P. J. (2019). Planning project stakeholder engagement from a sustainable development perspective. Administrative Sciences, 9(2), 46. Web.