A commentary on program/project stakeholders



By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia



Some time ago in this journal (Stretton 2014a) I published a model showing a detailed classification and listing of program / project stakeholders, accumulated from several different sources in the project management literature. My main intention at the time was to provide a substantial checklist of potential stakeholders for an organization, and for its programs / projects. (This was a second edition of an earlier article, Stretton 2010e, which attracted some attention at the time).

More recently in this journal, Pirozzi 2017 published an article entitled “The Stakeholder Perspective”, which looked at various aspects of project stakeholders in substantial depth, including the centrality of stakeholders in projects and project management, the value of stakeholder relations, the complexity of the stakeholder domain, and the importance of relationship management. In doing this, he introduced a behavioural model of the community of stakeholders, and another related to managing the stakeholder network.

This article has led me to revisit my own earlier model, and to see how it relates with Pirozzi, and particularly with the two Pirozzi models just mentioned. This is broadly the subject of this commentary. It should be emphasised that I am not attempting to summarise Pirozzi’s article, but, in a sense, I am cherry-picking from it.

We start with my interpretation of the Pirozzi models, and identification of some issues deriving from them which I found most interesting and/or relevant to my previous work on project stakeholders.


I do not have the drawing skills to attempt to adequately represent what Pirozzi calls his Stakeholders Hypercube diagram, nor his Stakeholder Network diagram. However, I will endeavour to progressively combine the two in a simplified two-dimensional way, which I hope do not grossly misrepresent Pirozzi’s materials.

Four communities of project stakeholders

First, Pirozzi identifies four main communities of stakeholders, which he describes as follows, and which are then notionally represented in Figure 1 below.

Within each project there are … four communities of stakeholders, which can be defined … as the suppliers [providers], the purchasers, the investors, and the influencers: each of these communities shares a prevailing interest, a specific language, and … a common behaviour.


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How to cite this article: Stretton, A. (2018). A commentary on program/project stakeholders, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Stretton-program-project-stakeholders-commentary.pdf


About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)



Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.