Although there can be a wide range of stakeholder interests on a project, PRINCE2 6th Edition identifies three principal categories. These three interest groups are business, user and supplier, and each has a specific viewpoint on and role within the project.
Business stakeholders aim to make sure that project products meet a business need that justifies investment in the project, and that projects deliver value for money. As such, the business interests, represented by the executive, are to make sure these two prerequisites exist before commencing a project.
The user interests, which are represented by the senior user, reflect the requirements of those who will use the project’s outputs. The user perspective represents those who will use the outputs of the project to realize the benefits; will operate, maintain or support the project’s outputs, or will be impacted by the project’s outputs.
Finally, the supplier interested are represented by the senior user on a project. Because delivering the project’s outputs requires resources with certain skills, the supplier viewpoint represents those who will provide these skills on the project. The supplier needs to have an understanding of all the relevant standards with which the output needs to comply, and the project may need to use both in-house and external supplier teams to construct the project product.
In PRINCE2, the three principal interests are brought together on the project board, which is accountable for the success of the project. As well as representing all three principal interests, a successful project management team will ensure appropriate governance by defining responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project, with clear accountability at each level. It will also review the project roles throughout the project to ensure they remain effective, and will also manage communication flows to and from stakeholders effectively.