What is a stakeholder?
The stakeholders are all the people who are related in any way to your project. Both their satisfaction and motivation are essential to ensure its success.
Most of the time, several stakeholders are involved at each step of the project: they think about it, bring capital, support it and/or even execute it. These stakeholders can foster change or, on the contrary, slow the project down to a crawl and endanger its delivery.
Whether they stay active for the whole duration of the project or just during specific stages, the stakeholders' needs must be fully considered by the project team. It is essential to know and understand their expectations and to avoid conflicts at costs.
Here are some examples of stakeholders:
- The customer;
- The project team;
- The supplier;
- Anyone that would be impacted by the change.
How to use the stakeholders analysis matrix
The first step is to identify all of your project's stakeholders. This process can be undertaken with your team so that you'll take advantage of everyone's ideas.
You must be able to identify each stakeholder's power and interest level. Interest is the degree to which a stakeholder gives importance to the success of the project (whether it's professional, personnal or another goal). Power refers to the level to which the stakeholder has a positive or negative influence on the project's goals accomplishment.
These levels are ordered as follow:
- Very low
- Very high
For the sake of convenience, our stakeholder analysis matrix involves scales from 0 (very low interest / power) to 10 (very high interest / power).
Once you have set up their power and interest scores, your stakeholder will be displayed on the matrix. You'll be then able to identify various strategies to manage and meet their needs.
What's next? With the matrix, you'll be able to quickly identify global strategies to manage your stakeholders effectively.
There are different strategies depending on the interest and power levels.
- High power & high Interest => Manage closely
These people are known as "natural stakeholders" because of their high levels of power and interest. A full cooperation with these stakeholders is essential in order to get their support all along the project.
Ex: Plan regular meetings with a customer to better identify their needs.
- High power & low interest => Keep informed
These aren't very interested in your project, but their high power level could lead them to take part in this project and even to stop it. Identifying and meeting their specific needs is a good way to increase their interest toward the project as well as to prevent future conflicts.
Ex: Building a dashboard to keep top management informed about the project's progress / Sharing your best practices and lessons learned with your teams.
- Low power & high interest => Keep satisfied
These people attach great importance toward project success and want to be informed about its progress. At the same time, monitoring these stakeholders can bring many benefits in case one of them increases their power level.
Ex: Sending a monthly newsletter to keep them informed about the progress of your project.
- Low power & low interest => Monitor
This last group is composed of people less tied to your project: they don't give much importance to its success and they won't really influence whether goals are reached or not. The strategy to set up consists in monitoring these stakeholders in case their power or interest level increases.
Ex : Redoing the stakeholder analysis once in a while to monitor progress with these stakeholders.
Finalizing the stakeholder analysis
The last step of this analysis consists in precisely describing the strategies to set up to meet the needs of every stakeholder as well as in promoting action towards the success of the project. Concrete activities to include in your project plan will follow from these strategies.
To help you with this final step, we provide you with an Excel template that includes a summary sheet to make it easy for you to complete your analysis.
Enter your email address to receive your template and complete your stakeholder analysis.