Primary & Secondary stakeholders in a software project

4 min readFeb 23, 2021

The development of software solutions needs the identification of all requirements, laying the groundwork for project success. Engaging key stakeholders in the early stages of development helps you build a strong communication strategy, meet primary requirements, and avoid time and money waste.

The role of stakeholders in a software project

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations that are actively involved in a software project, can influence it due to their position, and whose interests may be affected by the success or failure of the project. Stakeholders can have different degrees of responsibilities and authority that may change throughout the software development lifecycle.

For example, end-users usually indirectly affect the project. However, if users take part in testing MVP, they may change their roles and directly impact the further project development processes.

Sometimes, competing expectations of different stakeholders can become a heated debate. However, stakeholders’ engagement is one of the most effective strategies to achieve high project results and meet your primary business goals.

All software project stakeholders can be divided into two groups: primary and secondary. Such classifying helps to prioritize the interests of groups involved in the project and improve decision-making. Who are the primary and secondary stakeholders in a software project, and what is their role in the development of the project?

Primary stakeholders in a software project

Primary stakeholders have a direct impact on your software project. They are people, groups, or organizations that have the strongest voice and can gain or lose their income. Knowing and understanding primary stakeholders’ interests can ensure high performance and the best decisions for your product.

  • Customers
    Customers determine the main requirements and project scope as well as sign contracts with the main project performers. They always interact with the team, approve or supplement the plan with new implementation points.
  • Project Managers
    Project Managers control the entire project creation process, considering the interests and needs of all stakeholders. Their main interest is to create a solid product on time and within budget, making customers satisfied. They lead a development team and supervise the project implementation processes, making necessary adjustments.
  • Business Analysts
    A BA team analyzes the customer’s ideas, communicates with the development team, and determines project scope and requirements. They make predictions to understand the project budget and time as well as create project decomposition.
  • Development Team
    Developers as stakeholders are responsible for timely software delivery and estimation. Based on their experience and innovation trends, the developers can provide stakeholders with advice on business idea implementation and quality estimation needed to understand the scope of work and resources needed. This group also includes QA engineers who define bugs to meet specified requirements and prevent failed user scenarios.
  • Designers
    UI&UX designers make the product interface user-friendly and understandable. They understand that a user comes to the site or works with the application to solve a specific problem. Therefore, designers make customers get what they want quickly and easily.

Primary stakeholders can also be represented by project sponsors, marketing teams, business partners, suppliers, etc.

Secondary stakeholders in a software project

Secondary stakeholders have an indirect relationship with a software development process. They do not have any direct engagement with a project or a company but can indirectly affect decisions related to your software product and its reputation.

The role of secondary stakeholders should not be undermined because their identification is crucial for the continuous improvement of the product.

  • End-users
    Every product has its target audience, whose needs and desires affect the design and functionality of the system. Users can be engaged as stakeholders in testing product beta-version to provide the initial feedback. They can point out missing features and contribute to user experience improvement.
  • Government
    The state, represented by the regulatory authorities, can also be a stakeholder. Regulators adopt international standards that influence the development of a software product and impose fines for non-compliance with the rules.
  • Competitors
    Competitors always implement new features and create industry trends affecting the market. Thus, your competitors can influence the prioritization of tasks creating new unexpected challenges to respond to.

Secondary stakeholders can also include the media, consultants, or IT company employees who are not working on the project.

Stakeholders in a software project are people or organizations who have their goals, desires, and biases about software implementation. Identification of key stakeholders can help you more clearly see social connections, hidden dangers, and business prospects.

Regular communication with stakeholders helps Exposit Delivery Managers and development teams always meet primary project requirements and business goals. Contact us to discuss your idea and find the most effective solution for your business challenge.




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