Transcript: 03 - Project Management: Stakeholders — with Dr Rebecca Dalli Gonzi
Jeanette:

Hi. Today we're here with Dr Dalli Gonzi. She is an architect and civil engineer with a specialisation in project management. Together, we'll be speaking about the project management of construction development. We'll be going through the phases over the next few videos.

So, today we'll be talking about stakeholders. So, what are stakeholders exactly? I mean, we all heard the term, but it's a bit of, you know a terminology. It's very academic, almost terminology. How is it exactly? What does it mean?

Rebecca:

So, when you talk about stakeholders, they are all those people or entities that are directly at some point engaged throughout a construction project. We generally use two terms. We use what we call direct stakeholders and indirect stakeholders.

Jeanette:

Okay, so the direct stakeholders would be the ones that are well, by implication of the name, I guess, right? Really directly involved in this.

Rebecca:

Exactly.

Jeanette:

I guess the client would be the first one, right? The person who's actually commissioning the development.

Rebecca:

Yes, so, as you said, correct. Direct stakeholders are stakeholders throughout the project that are directly influencing the decision taking steps during the project.

So that's the client, the contractor, the STO, the, even the authority. Obviously, because you need to get your permit through the authority. And that is a summary of direct stakeholders. But we also have what we call indirect stakeholders. And those are people or entities that are involved throughout the project but not directly decision-taking entities. So they're not decision-taking people in your project.

Jeanette:

Okay, so for example, if we were to take the planning authority process, there's a part of it which neighbours can also give an opinion on the project, right? Object or otherwise.

Rebecca:

Yes.

Jeanette:

Would those be considered as indirect stakeholders, for example?

Rebecca

Yes. So neighbours in your street are not actually taking decisions on the space layout of your building if you're designing in a street. However, at some point, they could be influential, especially during the initial stages of the permit. So they could, as you rightly said, object at some point. If there is something that does not align with the rest of the street or the neighbourhood.

Another example would be a business. Say you're opening up a business on the streets, and there are other businesses in the streets. Again, they are not taking decisions on your space layouts and how the construction process is going to happen, but if it comes up to parking, parking issues, the business that is also sharing the streets due to different parking slots, yes there could be some impact at that point over there.

Jeanette:

I see, and the construction process is quite long, right? And it can actually be divided into certain categories or phases even. Within which, most direct and indirect stakeholders will have an effect on it or an influence on it. So the first phase is the…

Rebecca:

What we call initiation.

Jeanette:

Exactly, yes!

Rebecca:

So, the construction process is split into four. Four stages. You've got the initiation phase, and in the initiation phase, you've got all the conceptual parts of the project. The sketches, the 3D's so, perhaps collecting data that you might need for your site and so on.

Jeanette:

Surveys possibly as well.

Rebecca:

Yes. Possibly a survey would form in the initiation phase. So you're basically putting everything to brainstorm and give you an idea of where you wish to take your project. Whatever that is, if it's residential or commercial.

Then we follow this with the planning stage. Now the planning stage, we shift from the conceptual part to the data, more paperwork. So, now we're slowly gearing…

Jeanette

The formal bits really?

Rebecca:

Exactly, gearing towards a permit. So obviously, more data required, more drawings and detailing structural details. So construction dates, and who is going to take care of your site, excavation and so on.

Jeanette:

Okay, so those go into paperwork of not just the planning authority but the building construction agency and all of the other paperwork, the health and safety, all of that.

Rebecca:

Yes, paperwork. All paperwork. So it also includes contracts, signing dates, project milestones for those of you who might be familiar with project milestones but we can explain that at a later stage. So, anything that concerns you knowing physically on paper where this project is taken to.

Jeanette:

Excellent. So then, we finalised that, and we go into the?

Rebecca:

The third stage.

Jeanette:

The exciting stuff?

Rebecca:

Which is the crazy stage! That's project implementation. Now project implementation, anything we've had on paper now comes to life. So, we start by site hoarding, site preparation, then the excavation.

Jeanette:

I see, we start mobilising on site.

Rebecca:

We start mobilising on site that’s it.

Jeanette:

Then? Drum roll...

Rebecca:

After that, as long as everything sort of goes according to plan and on schedule and then you've got project closure. Which is the fourth stage. In some project systems or processes, you might find not four but five stages, where we also add what we call project monitoring and control. Which is the, which would be the fourth out of five if we're talking about five stages, but the last will always be project closure.

In project closure it's a critical stage to any project because it's the place where we can understand what went right and what went wrong.

Jeanette:

I see, okay.

Rebecca:

We can, what we call, implement a lesson's learned exercise. So, apart from that, there is obviously the closing of contracts, signing of payments, so there are a lot of things, warranties get started and so on. But more importantly, it is really a stage where we can bring everything together, and if there is a handover stage, that is the stage where everything has to be prepared to carry out this handover.

Jeanette:

So basically, it goes from contractor to the client again, right? When the keys are with the client and, therefore, the project finishes, theoretically finishes, right? Because then it kicks in the responsibility period for both the designers and the contractors, no? So the liability period which is then defined by law.

Rebecca:

Yes.

Jeanette:

Excellent. Thank you so much for that. This is Rebecca Dalli Gonzi, and you are listening to the human agenda. Thank you so much for joining us on this episode.

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