Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Analysis is a technique of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project. It identifies the interests, expectations, and influence of the stakeholders and relates them to the purpose of the project. It also helps identify stakeholder relationships that can be leveraged to build coalitions and potential partnership to enhance the project's chance of success.

According to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the stakeholder analysis generally follows the steps described below:
  • Step 1: Identify all potential project stakeholders and relevant information, such as their roles, departments, interests, knowledge levels, expectations, and influence levels. Key stakeholders are usually easy to identify. They include anyone in a decision-making or management role who is impacted by the project outcome, such as the sponsor, project manager, and the primary customer.
    • Identifying other stakeholders is usually done by interviewing identified stakeholders and expanding the list until all potential stakeholders are included.
  • Step 2: Identify the potential impact or support each stakeholder could generate, and classify them so as to define an approach strategy. In large stakeholder communities, it is important to prioritize the key stakeholders to ensure the efficient use of effort to communicate and manage their expectations. There are multiple classification models available including, but not limited to:
    • Power/interest grid, grouping the stakeholder based on their level of authority ("power") and their level or concern ("interest") regarding the project outcomes;
    • Power/influence grid, grouping the stakeholders based on their level of authority ("power") and their active involvement ("influence") in the project;
    • Influence/impact grid,  grouping the stakeholders based on their active involvement ("influence") in the project and their ability to effect changes to the project's planning or execution ("impact"); and
    • Salience model, describing classes of stakeholders based on their power (ability to impose their will), urgency (need for immediate attention), and legitimacy (their involvement is appropriate).
  • Step 3: Assess how stakeholders are likely to react or respond in various situations, in order to plan how to influence them to enhance their support and mitigate potential negative impacts.

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