Generally, there are five key stakeholders in every project: project manager, performing organization, team members, sponsor and end user. However, geographical differences and natural events directly affect the successful execution of the construction project and may involve a number of unique stakeholders like environmental and community groups being effected by the building process or its operation after completion and may not be involved in other type of projects (Walker, 2007). Similarly, regulatory agencies who control certain aspects of the construction by issuing permits and certificate are also key stakeholders. These stakeholders, if not managed well, can influence the project by delaying, changing the scope and even cancelling the project. Stakeholders may be attributed different names and categories as internal, external, sponsor, team, seller, contractor, government, media, and society at large. According to Project Management Institute (2008), this naming is primarily aimed to identify individuals and groups as stakeholders where they may have varying and overlapping interests. These interests determine their responsibility and authority and may change as the project progresses. This responsibility and authority may range for occasional participation to full sponsorship and political and financial support of the project. Stakeholders who do not assume their responsibility and authority can bring damaging impact to the project outcomes. However, stakeholders may essentially
be categorized as either positive or negative stakeholders (Ward and Chapman, 2008). Positive stakeholders are those who are actively involved in project execution and are concerned with project completion without compromising the project’s objectives and outcomes while negative stakeholders view project success as a negative. The challenge for the project manager and project team is to adapt plans and approaches to varying requirements and expectation of various stakeholders. This necessitates developing the understanding of not only technical aspects of projects but also their relations with environment and community at large (Javeed, 2002). Project manager and project team often overlook negative stakeholders and fail to appreciate their influence that may impact project success and thus bring high risk of failing the project (Olander, 2007). Project team who ignores any key stakeholders must expect damaging impacts to the project objectives. The ability of stakeholders to impact the project is high in the beginning and gets lower as the project progresses; however, costs associated with the changes and error correction in the later part of the project gets higher than the cost of changes made in initials (Leung et al., 2004). The project team must identify each and every stakeholder, measure their requirements and expectation to the possible extent, and manage their influences to ensure project success. Stakeholders that are missed or ignored are likely to emerge during later stages of project management and when discovered with their requirements may bring changes to the project. The changes incorporated towards project ending would be more costly and more difficult to integrate with project.