Stakeholder Analysis is a process where individuals or groups that are affected by a project are identified, prioritized and their interests understood.
Knowing about the stakeholders of a project and how they can affect it is an important first step to starting a project. A Stakeholder is any person or group that has a vested interest in the outcome of a project. This includes anyone who is on the project, has influence on the project and anyone affected by the project.
Four step Stakeholder Analysis
- Identify - Find out who will have influence/power over the project, who will be affected by it, and who has an interest in the project’s outcome.
- Prioritize - By plotting your stakeholders on to a Power/Interest Grid you can start to gain a better understanding of how to address them effectively.
- Understand - In this stage you must ask important questions about the interests of the stakeholders such as:
- Is their opinion positive or negative?
- What are their motivations?
- What is their communication style?
- What is your plan to win them around?
- Who is influencing them?
Benefits of Stakeholder Analysis
By identifying the most powerful stakeholders you can use their opinions to shape the project at the beginning of the project. Another benefit is that by understanding the landscape of stakeholders you can react to unseen situations in an informed manner. Communicating early and often with stakeholders helps them support you and your goals for the project. Anticipation of people’s actions and reactions becomes easier as well.
Projects usually don't turn out the way we expect. With careful planning and by understanding the goals and intentions of the stakeholders we can prevent a project from going from bad to worse. We can quickly adjust to a bump in the road and help ensure a successful outcome for everyone involved.