A stakeholder in a building project is a person or organization that has an interest, or stake, in the project outcome. For example, the ultimate users of the project and the client who commissions the project are stakeholders in the project. A building project has different groups of stakeholders and their interests are not necessarily aligned. That’s why it’s critical for managers of building projects to identify different stakeholders, manage any risks associated with them, and communicate effectively with them.
The person or organization that commissions the project is a stakeholder in the project. The client could be a private individual or organization, or a public organization. Private clients typically focus on the economic returns from the project and on managing the financing to the best effect. Public clients, which include publicly owned bodies, raise funding from the public and have more of a interest in the project's service to end users.
The end users of the project vary depending on whether it is a public or private project. For a private project, the end user could be the client that commissioned the project. While public end users may not have any say in most building projects, they will be impacted by the decisions made relating to the project, in the event that they will use the building. Sometimes public end users get a chance to provide their input if a public hearing is held.
A building project is likely to involve the employment of a variety of professionals. This group of stakeholders includes the project manager, engineers, architects, contractors and subcontractors. A project manager makes key decisions on the development of the project. All the professionals involved in the building process impact the outcome of the project and its quality.
There are other public and private parties that have a stake in the project outcome. Public parties include government departments and trade unions. Government departments, for example, have a stake since they need to approve the building plans and make sure that the building meets specifications. Private parties with a stake in the project outcome include those whose property values could be impacted by the project. For example, in the case of a large shopping mall project, homeowners who live nearby will be interested in how the project might impact their property values.