The stakeholders analysis focuses on putting stakeholders on the map in a conscious way. Stakeholders are people or organizations that are (positively or negatively) influenced by or able to influence the project. By explicitly running a stakeholders analysis with the project team, (future) project obstacles will be exposed early on. Preparing for this with communication and action increases the opportunity for a successful project.
Examples of stakeholders are: employees, managers, shareholders, customers, suppliers, government and community.
The Stakeholders analysis starts with a brainstorm session. Who are (relevant) stakeholders in the project? Enter them into the screen and add information about why these stakeholders could be relevant.
Then select the grid for ‘Influence – Interest’. Team members can position stakeholders accordingly in this grid.
Now we draw up a communication plan for the different stakeholders. General rules for the plan per quadrant are:
Influential – high level of interest (red): these are key people! Use their (positive) influence in the project.
Influential – low level of interest (orange): Make sure the wishes of this group are met.
Less influential – high level of interest (yellow): Involve this group, if useful to the project.
Less influential – low level of interest (green): This is the least important group. Only invest time in this group if strictly necessary.
Tips and best practices
It is tempting to skip this technique in order to speed things up. Experience shows though that running this analysis is always worth the (time) investment.
The Stakeholders analysis can be a sensitive matter. After all, we are talking about positions and people’s behavior. Please be aware of this. The Stakeholders analysis is primarily for internal use within the project team.
Look further than just the formal functions and positions of employees. It can occur that a stakeholder’s network and informal position has a much greater influence than his/her role implies.
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