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Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest in a project and can influence its outcome. They may support or resist changes that are part of improvement. Identifying stakeholders who can affect your project at an early stage is important so these relationships can be developed. Understanding resistors’ concerns early on may help prevent conflict and delays as the project evolves.

Stakeholder analysis is a dynamic process and should be undertaken at the beginning of a project and revisited as the project evolves. Common stakeholders in healthcare improvement include, but are not limited to: patients, clinicians, managers, executives, clinical assistants and payers. The results of stakeholder analysis form the basis of the project communication plan.