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In the Context of Project Finance, How Can Stakeholder Engagement Enhance Project Success?

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The ability to effectively identify and manage project stakeholders significantly improves the chances of successful project execution and organizational success. The project manager's ability to seek agreement on the goals of the project among the key project stakeholders, including the project team, management, and the customer, plays a large part in the project's success

Failure to do so may expose the project to unnecessary delays, missed opportunities, negative financial impacts, and potential damage to the organization's reputation.

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"Stakeholder engagement helps governments identify critical issues and prepare effective strategies. In particular, it can frame discussions with beneficiaries, clarify project impacts and objectives, and ultimately increase public support for a given project. In certain circumstances, creating space for dialogue and allowing stakeholder participation in project decision-making can increase its endorsement in the national political arena and strengthen its sustainability. The process can enhance the social capital between the government and the public, generating long-term benefits for the effectiveness of policy reforms. Moreover, stakeholder engagement is one of the ten Equator Principles (EP 2017); a thorough consultation is a requisite to receive funds from Equator Principle Financial Institutions. The engagement process can also give governments the opportunity to explain how a PPP differs from privatization. In modern PPPs, the government retains control over the use of the asset; it defines minimum service quality and maximum user costs. This is fundamentally different from older concessions wherein the operator acted as a local monopolist with limited accountability to the contracting agency. These factors underline the critical importance of identifying an accountable public spokesperson for any project. Before any consultations, it is good practice to appoint a project spokesperson, preferably a senior figure within government. This is critical for establishing and maintaining a regular flow of information about a project, addressing and being perceived as addressing public questions and concerns, and correcting any misinformation in the media. This spokesperson lends his or her credibility to the project throughout the project cycle."

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"Unicity is a foundational attribute of every project in all Project Management approaches: «each project is unique» (The International Organization for Standardization, 2012), «a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result» (Project Management Institute, 2017), «a project is a unique, temporary, multi-disciplinary and organized endeavour to realize agreed deliverables within predefined requirements and constraints» (International Project management Association, 2015). This unicity derives from non-linear relations among scope, time, cost, quality, and stakeholders and, then, characterizes each project in terms of a certain level of inherent complexity

Additional complexity factors include number of different internal and external organizations involved, sources and complexity of technology required, sources of funding, external or internal customers, degree of customer involvement in the project, levels of risk (Archibald and Archibald, 2016). Therefore, facing projects complexity can be very hard: intrinsic nature of complexity, on the one hand, is dynamic and multidimensional, and its dimensions include scope management, contracting and procurement, leadership, human factors, stakeholders, logic, interfaces, schedule, risks (Pells, 2017), on the other, is characterized by a continuous trend to growth, that is valid, a fortiori, in large and major projects, and when spreading to program and/or portfolio domains"

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Stakeholder analysis is a technique that can assist the project team members understand the variety of stakeholders that have an interest in the project and the individual nuances that can affect project risk

In an environment where office politics often appear to cloud a project’s progression, stakeholder analysis provides the team with views and measures and that can help uncover and remove barriers.

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Archibald R.D. and Archibald S.C. (2016), Leading and Managing Innovation, 2nd Edition, CRC Press.

Pells D.L. (2017), Complexities, Size Matters, the Death of Simple Project Management, and…, PM World Journal Vol. VI, Issue XI – November 2017.

Retfalvi, L. A. (2014). Project success using proven stakeholder management techniques. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2014—North America, Phoenix, AZ. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Smith, L. W. (2000). Stakeholder analysis: a pivotal practice of successful projects. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, Houston, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Solera, J. (2009). Project Decelerators – Lack of Stakeholder Support. Silicon Valley Project Management. Retrieved from https://svprojectmanagement.com/project-decelerators-lack-of-stakeholder-support.

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