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21 Questions: Understanding Project Stakeholder Expectations

21 questions for stakeholdersUnderstanding the expectations of project stakeholders is absolutely critical to successful stakeholder management. Do you know what your stakeholders expect? If not, your project may already be heading down the wrong path.

In order to pinpoint stakeholder expectations, it’s important to first know who your various stakeholders are, and then dig deeper into how they feel about the project. You’ll want to understand the issues and requirements of the project from their point of view.

Identifying stakeholder expectations is key to the success of your project because your stakeholders, as a group, will usually understand the situation better than you do on your own. The situation may look quite different when viewed from different perspectives, and each stakeholder might have different expectations. What’s more, you may risk rejection of your finished product if your customer feels his/her expectations and priorities haven’t been considered.

Asking the right questions will allow you to clarify goals, gain insights, and foster communication with others. For a better understanding of stakeholder expectations about the project, ask these questions:

Expectations about the project’s long-term impact

Expectations about project completion

Expectations about the process of carrying out the project

Once you’ve used this list of questions with your stakeholders, your knowledge of their expectations can be factored into your project plan. You can use this information to help construct project goals and objectives. By investing the time up-front to gain an understanding of your stakeholders’ expectations, you will set the framework for effective stakeholder management [1], which you can then build on throughout the life of your project.