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Say a contracting company is hired by a parent entity to complete a given piece of work.

It's a fixed-fee project with a specified deliverable.

The work is critical to the overall project, and the project's success or failure hinges on it.

Is it correct to include those in charge at the contracting company as project stakeholders?

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The answer is simple: Anyone who directly or indirectly has a stake in the project will be called stakeholder.

That could be a single person or a group/organization.

All you need to do is to categorize them based on their power and impact

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Yes. They are a stakeholder. Using a tiered approach for segmentation--think a bulls eye target--the epicenter, what I usually refer as Tier 0, is the project team. A piece was outsourced to another company; its output is part of the project. Thus, they are part of the project team, albeit once removed.

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    To me this is the correct answer, they are stakeholders. A stakeholder designates anyone who has an interest in the project, whether they execute the work, are partners, sponsors, customers, decision-makers, etc. Stakeholders analysis (like your tiering method) helps working out what to do about them, where to include and how to communicate. – Angeline Aug 16 '11 at 12:36
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I wouldn't say so. They are just delivering what they were contracted for, especially when they do it for a fixed fee. The same way teams at the parent company are delivering their parts for a fixed fee (their paycheck).

More... The parent company is their stakeholder as the parent company has requirements and pays the bill.

This of course does not mean excluding them from all kinds of communication. There is even bigger need for good communication and transparency, but that does not have much to do with being a stakeholder in general.

  • Sorry. Using this logic, no employee of any company could be considered a stakeholder of their company because they're exchanging labor/service for a fee (paycheck). The list of Stakeholders includes everyone involved in, or affected by, the project. This includes those negatively affected by, or even opposed to. the project. – Trevor K. Nelson Aug 16 '11 at 13:39
  • I think there is a misconception between a Project Team and Stakeholders. For me Stakeholders are those defining the project and it's requirements, those having expectations towards the delivered product, which in that sense is close to what Scrum defines (a I understand it) – Marcin Niebudek Aug 16 '11 at 21:34
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    Sorry, I have to disagree again. Stakeholders are those that "hold a stake" in the outcome of the project. this can be translated as an 'interest'. Those defining the project are the Owners (also part of Stakeholders), those with expectations of the delivered project are also Customers, or users, etc. (also part of Stakeholders). The Project Team are also Stakeholders, as they have a vested interest in the success of the project. – Trevor K. Nelson Aug 17 '11 at 0:47
  • You are right, I was wrong. – Marcin Niebudek Aug 17 '11 at 11:04

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