When you’re managing a project, it’s crucial to first identify your stakeholders. They may include your boss, customers, colleagues, the finance department — the team that will ultimately judge the project’s success or failure. Stakeholders’ interests will vary, as will their definitions of success, so you need to understand who they are in order to meld their expectations into a coherent, manageable set of goals.
Ask yourself: Who will be affected by the project’s activities or outcomes? Who will contribute resources — people, space, time, tools, and money — to the project? Who will use and benefit from the project’s output? Once you’ve established your stakeholders, have them sign off on what they expect from the project and what resources they’ll provide.
Adapted from Managing Projects (20-Minute Manager Series).