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Re: What is a software stakeholder?

From: Joel Sherrill
Subject: Re: What is a software stakeholder?
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2020 12:04:12 -0600

I'm not disagreeing with DJ, just pointing out that stakeholders has a very specific meaning in the context of project management and that's what we are discussing. It's too long to copy all of Wikipedia's version of the Project Management Institute's definition but it covers a LOT of actors. Apparently there is also an ISO standard covering this.

Copying the part before it goes into a list.

"According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term project stakeholder refers to, "an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project" (Project Management Institute, 2013). ISO 21500 uses a similar definition.

Project stakeholders are entities that have an interest in a given project. These stakeholders may be inside or outside an organization"

In a construction project, this definition includes at least the bill payers, workers, neighbors of the project, and any environmental groups interested.

Free software projects have similar stakeholders which have to be balanced. Those paying developer salaries can push for features that may or may not reflect anyone else's priority. Those could lead to forks. Users could be unsatisfied and never adopt or switch. Changing "ownership" like Oracle and MySQL can and did have an impact. 

Think broadly about stakeholders. This is good project management practice 

--Joel Sherrill

On Thu, Jan 2, 2020, 11:45 AM DJ Delorie <> wrote:
Akira Urushibata <> writes:
> The term "stakeholder" requires explanation.

In this case, the original literal meaning isn't as appropriate as the
modern figurative meaning.

"2. A person with an interest or concern in something, especially a

In our case, "stakeholders" are all the people who have committed time
and/or resources to helping the GNU project, who have invested of
themselves to make it succeed, and thus have an interest in seeing their
work continue to thrive.

(Amusingly, the (1) definition from above refers to gambling wagers, not
real estate.  Times change.)

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