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Not understanding impacts of your program or project outcome on stakeholders can be detrimental to success of the project. Stakeholders can and have caused projects to be delayed, halted and even terminated. This not only causes the schedule to slip, but increases the cost of the project. The complexity and dynamics of stakeholder's values and interests advocates that these methods be a system approach to understanding how stakeholders can affect the outcome of the project as well as how the project affects stakeholders. This paper examines Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM), a systems modeling approach to stakeholder analysis. By applying this method, program and project managers can expect to 1) create stakeholder causal models to understand stakeholders values and interests, 2) understand how the values and interests of stakeholders differ or align with one another, and 3) show how conflicts between stakeholder interests and the project objectives can be potentially resolved through sensitivity analysis. The FCM methods are described and illustrated using a large transmission upgrade project by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a U.S. federal agency.
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