Why are stakeholders important?

Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations whose interests are affected (positively or negatively) by the project execution and completion. In other words, a project stakeholder has something to gain from the project or lose to the project. Accordingly, the stakeholders fall into two categories-positive stakeholders, who will normally benefit from the success of the project, and negative stakeholders, who see some form of disadvantage coming from the project. The implications obviously are that the positive stakeholders would like to see the project succeed and the negative stakeholder's would be happy if the project was delayed or even better cancelled.

For ex: let us say, your state government wants to build a Government Hospital in your city. It is a good thing right? You, the citizens of your city and the chief minister are all positive stakeholders of this project. Lets say there is a private Hospital in the city that is having a thriving business currently. They would be negative stakeholders because, if the government hospital comes up, their business will be affected and hence they would be happy if the government scraps its project.

Negative stakeholders are often overlooked by the project manager and the project team, which increases the project risk. Ignoring positive or negative project stakeholders will have a damaging impact on the project. Therefore, it's important that you, as the project manager, start identifying the project stakeholders early on in the project. The different project stakeholders can have different and conflicting expectations, which you need to analyze and manage