Stakeholder analysis in project management is the process of identifying the individuals or groups that are likely to affect or be affected by a proposed action, and sorting them according to their impact on the action and the impact the action will have on them.
This information is used to assess how the interests of those stakeholders should be addressed in a project plan, policy, program, or other action. Stakeholder analysis is a key part of stakeholder management.
A stakeholder analysis of an issue consists of weighing and balancing all of the competing demands on a firm by each of those who have a claim on it, in order to arrive at the firm’s obligation in a particular case.
A stakeholder analysis does not preclude the interests of the stakeholders overriding the interests of the other stakeholders affected, but it ensures that all affected will be considered.
Performing a stakeholder analysis
Identify Your Stakeholders
Brainstorm to identify who are your stakeholders, and you can also make use of stakeholder analysis template.
You may consider the following:
- Who will be affected by your work?
- Who has influence or power over your work?
- Are there any vested interests in the projects success or failure?
Below is a list of people that can be stakeholders in your job or project:
- Your boss
- Your coworkers
- Your team
- Senior executives
- Alliance partners
- The press
- The community
Remember that although stakeholders may be both organizations and people, ultimately you must communicate with people. Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within a stakeholder organization. All this information should be added in a stakeholder analysis template for future use and quick reference.
You may now have a long list of people and organizations that are affected by your work. Some of these may have the power either to block or advance. Some may be interested in what you are doing, others may not care.
For example, your boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. Your family may have high interest, but are unlikely to have power over it.
Someone’s position on the grid shows you the actions you have to take with them:
- High power, interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy.
- High power, less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied, but not so much that they become bored with your message.
- Low power, interested people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
- Low power, less interested people: again, monitor these people, but do not bore them with excessive communication.
Understand Your Key Stakeholders
Now you need to know more about each stakeholder. You need to know how are they likely to react to the project, and their positions, and leverage that information to find the best way to engage them in your project and communicate with them.
Key questions to help you understand your stakeholders are:
- What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative?
- What motivates them most of all?
- What information do they want from you?
- How do they want to receive information from you? What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
- What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information?
- Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you?
- Do some of these influencers therefore become important stakeholders in their own right?
- If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
- If you don’t think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
- Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?
The best way to answer there question is to talk to your stakeholder directly. People are often quite quite open about their views, and asking people’s opinions is often the first step in building a relationship.
For quick reference and continuous improvement make use of a robust stakeholder analysis template.
The Stakeholder Analysis Template contains the following:
- Stake in the Project
- Potential Impact on Project
- Expectations of the Stakeholder
- Perceived attitudes and/or risks
- Stakeholder Management Strategy
- Is professionally laid out
- Has the charts and tables you need
- Comes with step-by-step instructions
- Contains practical examples
- Includes tips & hints
Why use templates:
Project Managers often have various templates on their PC or laptop. When they start a new project, they sift through them trying to find something relevant, consuming valuable time and energy – only to have to start again from scratch when nothing suitable turns up.
That’s where this Project Management Template bundle is invaluable. For every project you’re involved with, you can simply open a template from the kit and start filling it in.
It saves you time and effort, and because each template has been professionally laid out, you can generate higher quality documentation as a result. Buy and download the Project Management Bundle today.
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