Stakeholder is a person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies

A stakeholder is anybody who can affect or is affected by an organization, strategy or project. They can be internal or external and they can be at senior or junior levels. Some definitions suggest that stakeholders are those who have the power to impact an organization or project in some way.

For example:
‘People or small groups with the power to respond to, negotiate with, and change the strategic future of the organization‘.
Some examples of key stakeholders are:
1. Creditors,
2. Directors,
3. Employees,
4. Government (and its agencies),
5. Owners (shareholders),
6. Suppliers, and
7. The community from which the business draws its resources.

An example of a negative impact on stakeholders is when a company needs to cut costs and plans a round of layoffs.

Who is involved in developing the specification?
Users of the procured goods or services should be involved in defining their requirements together with appropriate project officers, technical officers (for example, information technology or medical staff) and procurement officers.

Why is Stakeholder Participation Important?
People are not very good at defining, particularly in detail, what they want. However, people are fairly good at indicating what they think they want and then when an option is presented to them what they like and don’t like about it. In other words, we need to work with our stakeholders to identify what they think they want, produce something which reflects that understanding, get feedback from our stakeholders, and then update our solution to reflect our improved understanding. The implication is we need to work in a more evolutionary and collaborative manner if we’re to provide solutions which reflect our stakeholders actual needs, and to do that
we must work closely and regularly with stakeholders.

How to write a specification
Developing specifications should involve close and continuous liaison with stakeholders (specification writer, technical experts and specialists) and users of the goods and/or services. For more complex procurement, a staged approach to developing and refining the specifications should be considered. This may involve developing an Expression of Interest (EOI) specifying the requirements at a high level. As the process moves towards the short-listing and/or limited market approach phase, the specifications must become more detailed. Organisations should consider standardising the format and applying uniformity to specifications, as far as possible. This can help to reduce the cost of the market engagement process.

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