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All projects, changes or decisions that your organisation undertakes involve stakeholders. A stakeholder is someone who may affect, be affected by, or may perceive themselves to be affected by, your organisation’s decision or activity.

Stakeholders may be internal or external to your organisation. Customers, environmental advocates, those providing finance, suppliers and the general public are examples of potential stakeholders. The success or otherwise of your proposed project, change or decision can often be influenced by your stakeholders so it is important that you engage with them.

Stakeholders that are internal to your organisation need to be involved so that:

  • There is a clear understanding and appreciation of the purpose and objectives of your project, change or decision
  • Any disputes, misunderstandings or challenges are resolved early
  • Everyone understands their role in managing risk, and their accountability
  • The knowledge of the project team is used effectively to identify, analyse and evaluate risks and develop risk treatment plans
  • Knowledge and lessons learned during the process are shared
  • Those who need to be kept informed about the undertaking, or those required to make important decisions, can get the information they need about risk and its management.

You also need to communicate and consult with your external stakeholders. This involves a two-way dialogue between stakeholders, as opposed to a one-way flow of information from the decision maker. Unless stakeholders’ views are appreciated and acted on your project may not be regarded as a success, even if it is delivered in scope, to budget and within schedule.

We conduct stakeholder analysis in the early phases of the risk management process, as part of establishing the context, during which the objectives and concerns of each stakeholder are identified and documented. Such analysis plays an important part in demonstrating the integrity of the process and in ensuring the objectives of the undertaking encompass all legitimate stakeholders' objectives and expectations.

From this, a communication plan can be formulated, to determine how best to involve various stakeholders, bearing in mind their perspectives on what you plan to do.

Here is an example of a simple stakeholder analysis from a risk assessment for an upstream gas project:




Improved company value and share price

Good relationships with Government, partners and other key stakeholders

Strong safety and environmental performance

Positive impacts on local communities

Downstream operations

Reliable supply of gas

Gas meets delivery quality requirements

Non-operating JV partners

Maximise value for their shareholders

Manage relationship with non-operator


Safe management of operations and facilities

Sustainable operations

Profitable operations, optimise gas production to meet demand

Maintain staff morale and welfare

Maintain positive reputation

Employees and contractors

Safe, equitable and stimulating workplace

Continued employment at competitive remuneration


Protect the environment and the community

Ensure compliance with requirements

Regional councils

Maximise local benefits

Upgrade local infrastructure (e.g. roads, airports, rail, telecommunications)


Retain existing agricultural land use

Minimise disruption and operating footprint

Rehabilitation after cessation of production

Upgrade infrastructure

Maximise compensation payments

Traditional owners

Protection of cultural heritage and sensitive areas

Engagement with the company