What is a Stakeholder?

Natasha Baker http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/9846.aspx Stakeholders are people with a vested interest in the success of the project, whose support, or cooperation is necessary for the project to succeed. Stakeholder buy-in will make the difference in time to complete the project. In some cases, the biggest barrier to project success has been stakeholders. In project management stakeholders are people, groups, or institutions with interests in a project or program. Stakeholders can be customers, the local community, managerial staff, non-managerial staff, a government entity, and both private and public owners (shareholders). It can be virtually anyone as long as that person or group has something to do with the project. Lets take a general software company, probable stakeholders would be: y Those responsible for design and development Stakeholders' Interests, Impact, Priority Stakeholders can be listed in a table or spreadsheet with their key interests, potential level of project impact, and priority in relation to other stakeholders. Be careful to outline multiple interests, particularly those that are hidden in relation to project goals and objectives.

The key is to keep in mind that identifying interests is done with stakeholders' perspective in mind, not your own. This is difficult as interests are usually hidden and may contradict openly stated aims. Each interest should be related to the appropriate project phase; that is, interests change as the project moves from beginning to ending phases. With some stakeholders it may be crucial to extract interests by formally asking them questions such as:

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y y y

What are your project expectations? How do you benefit from successful project completion? Which stakeholders do you believe are in conflict with the project interests?

Once major interests are identified, it is also useful to outline how the project will be impacted if these are or are not met. In most cases, a simple annotation of positive (+), negative (-), or unknown (?) can be used as well as high (H), medium (M), low (L), or uncertain (?).

Stakeholder analysis is systematic gathering and analyzing of qualitative data to determine whose interests should be taken into account when developing and or implementing a policy, program, or project. Read on for an overview on how to undertake sample stakeholder analysis.

Stakeholder analysis increase the change for project success. Project managers use stakeholder analysis to identity the key stakeholder and to assess interests, positions, alliances, and importance given to the project by such stakeholders. Such knowledge allows project managers to interact more effectively with stakeholders and to increase support for a given policy, program, or project. Conducting such an analysis before project implementation allows project managers to detect and take measures to avoid misunderstandings and potential opposition to the project. What Are the Steps in Stakeholder Analysis? The process of sample stakeholder analysis involves eight major steps: 1. Plan: The first step in conducting a stakeholder analysis is to define the purpose of the analysis, identify the potential users of the information, and devise a plan for using the information. A discussion of these issues should be led by the sponsor, or initiator, of the stakeholder analysis. 2. Select an appropriate policy: Good stakeholder analysis focus on a specific project. In most cases, the sponsor identifies a project, but it is important to ensure that the policy in question is an appropriate project for a stakeholder analysis before the process begins. 3. Identify the key stakeholders: One crucial step in stakeholder analysis is to identify the various stakeholders and prepare a list of the same. The best approach is a priority list that defines the preference and set limits on the number of stakehodlers, based on the resources available. 4. Collect information: The nest step is to collect as much information as possible regarding the identified stakehodlers. The project management team needs to gather and review secondary information on the priority stakeholders from sources such as

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newspapers, institutional reports and publications, speeches, organization annual reports, political platforms, and other sources. Interview the priority stakeholders: The next step in stakeholder analysis is to gain accurate information on the stakeholder's positions, interests, and ability to affect the process. This is best done through a formal and structured interview process. Fill in the stakeholder table: This step of the process involves preparing a "stakeholder table" or arranging the answers of the interview and other the secondary information collected into a concise and standardized format.The purpose behind this is to make systematic comparisons, highlight the most significant information, and to ensure stakeholder identity anonymity if required. This allows the project management team to develop clear comparisons among the different stakeholders. Analyze the stakeholder table: The completed "stakeholder table" require analysis to compare information and develop conclusions on stakeholders' relative importance, knowledge, interests, positions, and possible allies regarding the policy in question. Using the information: The final step in stakehodler analysis is to put the information to good use. The information collected from stakeholder analysis finds use to provide input into other analyses, to develop action plans to increase support for a project, or to guide a participatory, consensus-building process.

Analyzing the Stakeholder Table The sample stakeholder analysis provides answers to the following questions:
y y y y y

Who are the most important stakeholders? What is the stakeholders' knowledge of the policy? What are the stakeholders' positions on the specific policy? What do the stakeholders see as possible advantages or disadvantages of the policy? Which stakeholders might form alliances?

A good stakeholder analysis allows project managers to identify stakeholders based on their influence, which in turn helps them develop support strategies, devise ways to secure stakeholder support for issues such as project risk, and overcome obstacles to successful project competition. Stakeholder Analysis Stakeholders are people with a vested interest in the success of the project, whose support, or cooperation is necessary for the project to succeed. Stakeholder buy-in will make the difference in time to complete the project. In some cases, the biggest barrier to project success has been stakeholders. In project management stakeholders are people, groups, or institutions with interests in a project or program. Stakeholders can be customers, the local community, managerial staff, non-managerial staff, a government entity, and both private and public owners (shareholders). It can be virtually anyone as long as that person or group has something to do with the project. Stakeholders will provide important information during the development stage and throughout the project. A stakeholder is anyone who will be affected by the project. It is important to conduct a stakeholder analysis to identify these individuals or groups including: y name y organization y role on the project y level of interest y level of influence y unique facts 3

By including key stakeholders in regular status meetings and sending this type of 4 . as stakeholder expectations often change over time. A sample stakeholder analysis follows: y y Sample Stakeholder Analysis Stakeholder Analysis It is common for the project manager(s) to schedule face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders at the beginning of the project. If the team misses an important stakeholder or doesn t manage the stakeholders expectations. information can then be used to refine the project purpose and objectives. One of the most important things to get from these meetings is how the stakeholder defines project success (their expectations) This .expectations (how they define success) ways to manage their expectations This information is important because it is these individuals who will identify the system requirements and provide project resources and support. If for some reason the stakeholders expectations are different than those of the project team. this is an opportunity to communicate this and begin to manage these expectati ns. these individuals could work against the project and keep it from achieving its objectives. These will also o need to be managed throughout the project.

information to other stakeholders as part of the project communications plan. Stakeholder Analysis Template You can download a copy of this stakeholder analysis in the Project Management Media Gallery. 5 . the project manager can better manage these changing expectations.

What is Stakeholder Analysis? Posted by Babou on March 9. As all we know. 2008 http://leadershipchamps. stakeholders can be 1) individuals within the project 2) individua or ls departments within the organization & 3) individuals or groups outside the organization (can be influencers) Stakeholder Management processes for a project involves (but not limited to) 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) Identifying all stakeholders Documenting stakeholders needs Assessing & analyzing stakeholders interest/influence Managing stakeholders expectations Taking actions Reviewing status & repeat 6 .com/2008/03/09/what is-stakeholder-analysis/ After review of definition of stakeholders and roles & responsibilities of few stakeholders like Project manager & Sponsor. or whose interests may be affected as a result of project execution or project completion. it is good to deal in detail on Stakeholder Management & Analysis. Just a recap of definition of project stakeholder: Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project. So identification of all stakeholders is an important activity of the project manager to ensure project success. Stakeholders are all those who need to be considered in achieving project goals and whose participation and support are crucial to its success.wordpress.

some of them: Power/Interest grid Power/Influence grid Influence/Impact grid Power/Interest grid is widely used tool in stakeholder analysis & it is used in assessing stakeholders (step 2). each stakeholder is mapped to different quadrant based on their interest on the project against the influence (power) they have over the project. It is used to identify all key (primary and secondary) stakeholders who have a vested interest in the issues with which the project is concerned. What are the benefits of Stakeholder Analysis? A stakeholder analysis can help a project to identify: The interests of all stakeholders. Managing stakeholders expectations & ensuring their active involvement is very much important to project as: It is indispensable for continuation of the project & its successful completion It gives opportunity to individuals or groups to express their ideas/issues/concerns over the project It gives a sense of accountability and enhances responsibility It enables effective risk identification & response planning It opens up excellent learning opportunity for both the project team and stakeholders There are multiple category of models available. and the relationships between the different stakeholders and the issues they care about most. In this model. The aim of stakeholder analysis process is to develop a strategic view of the human and institutional landscape.What is Stakeholder Analysis? Stakeholder Analysis is an important technique for stakeholder identification & analyzing their needs. who may affect or be affected by the project Potential issues that could disrupt the project Key people for information distribution during executing phase Groups that should be encouraged to participate in different stages of the project Communication planning & stakeholder management strategy during project planning phase Ways to reduce potential negative impacts & manage negative stakeholders Engaging stakeholders throughout the project life cycle is a key to (but not a guarantee of) project s success. 7 .

level of involvement. Low power. but it definitely should be undertaken at the outset of a project. less interested people: again. but not so much that they become bored with your message. In the Execution phase. process of identifying stakeholders impacted by the project is crucial. a detailed stakeholder analysis. Stakeholder analysis can be undertaken throughout all stages of the project cycle. In particular. and their impact on project success. As a Project Manager we need to know when to do & use stakeholder analysis outputs in Project Management Life Cycle? Let us try to answer this question in detail. monitor these people. interested people: keep these people adequately informed. Even the identified stakeholder is an organization. Project Manager can get list of key stakeholders from earlier projects executed in their organization. but do not bore them with excessive communication. it is better to exactly document the key person s name for the organization to have better control over situation at times. will help shape the development of strategic actions and risk analysis. Low power. High power. less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied. project stakeholders have high influence over the project at the start and it decreases as the project continues. Project manager should document relevant information regarding stakeholders interests. stakeholder analysis will help identify who. how and when stakeholders should be involved in project activities and whom to communicate regarding project progress depending on their responsibility & authority levels. interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy. involving all key stakeholders.High power. Moreover. and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. Stakeholder analysis is an important input for Project manager in Communication Planning. 8 . during the Initiating phase. During the Planning phase. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.

project manager with the help of project management team need to identify all individual or organizations impacted by the project. importance of & level of impact upon each stakeholder Identifying how best to engage stakeholders in the project by analyzing their reactions or response in different situations. General list of key stakeholders are: Project Manager. and documenting their interests. Following are the vital steps in any stakeholder analysis: Stakeholder identification and documenting their interests (+ve or -ve) in the project Assessing the power of. Key stakeholder identification may be easy task to do. Identifying other or secondary stakeholders can be done either brainstorming or interviewing with experts/project management team on the project area. Sponsor and major influencers. to what extent did it succeed? Who was in charge and how did local stakeholders respond? Who possesses claims including legal jurisdiction and customary use over the project/resources at stake? Is any government departments to be involved in this project? Are there national and/or international bodies involved in this project because of specific laws or treaties? Who are the people or groups most knowledgeable about. Project management team. both supportive and opposing. Some of the key questions project manger may ask at this step include(not limited to): Who is threatening the target of this project? Who is most dependent on this project? Has there been a similar project in the market? If so. providing a baseline against which projects can monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their engagement with stakeholders. In Stakeholder identification process. Project manager can start with an analysis of the stakeholders and then link them to specific threat and opportunity factors. Project team members. the stakeholder analysis serves as a tool. Above key stakeholders are actively involved in the project & whose interests may be affected as a result of project execution or project completion.During the Monitoring & Controlling phases. and capable of dealing with the project at stake? Are the stakeholders and their interests stable across the globe or is there any identifiable pattern exists? Are there major events/trends/activities currently affecting the stakeholders? 9 . Performing organization. Customer/user. 1) Stakeholder identification and documenting their interests (+ve or -ve) in the Project This is the first step in stakeholder analysis. and complete knowledge about stakeholders increases probability of project success. Stakeholder identification is critical for any project usually it is done early planning stage.

and the understanding deepens. 3) Identifying how best to engage stakeholders in the project by analyzing their reactions or response in different situations Finally. 10 . importance of & level of impact upon each stakeholder In this step. and the likely impact of project decisions upon them. Further. Key questions for this second step in a stakeholder analysis include(not limited to): Who is directly responsible for decisions on issues important to the project? Who holds positions of responsibility in interested organizations? Who is influential in the project area (both thematic and geographic areas)? Who will be affected by the project? Who will promote/support the project. provided that they are involved? Who will obstruct/hinder the project if they are not involved? Who has been involved in the area (thematic or geographic) in the past? Who has not been involved up to now but should have been? Power Interest grid (as shown below) is the best tool to plot the stakeholders based on the outcome of above questions. 2) Assessing the power of. Then research the general stakeholder behavior. Depend on the quadrant a stakeholder plotted. Talk to various stakeholders. Different types of stakeholders will be engaged in different ways in the various stages of the project. the third step involves determining how to involve the different stakeholders. project manager need to plan his future actions. stakeholders are organized and categorized according to their likely influence over decisions to be made. Begin by brainstorming all possible stakeholders using a questionnaire(like the one listed above).Is this project replaceable by other project(s)? Best tool in identifying the key stakeholders and their interests is brainstroming. The list of stakeholders may grow or shrink as the analysis progresses. and ask them who they would see as potential stakeholders for the initiative in question. try to learn about each stakeholder group in as much depth as possible.

to consultation. and when and how that involvement can be achieved provides the basis for developing collaborations. then a process for gradual involvement may be needed. dialogue. The importance of the process in planning and conducting successful collaborations cannot be overemphasized. Good-faith efforts are often derailed because the parties are not skilled in working together. and because insufficient attention is given to designing and managing it. If it is not possible or realistic to have all key stakeholders involved from the outset. and partnership. a decision can be made on whether to pursue collaboration. 11 . transparent approach during project development and implementation will help build ownership and commitment. Determining who needs or wants to be involved.from gathering and giving information. Once stakeholder views are understood. Using an inclusive. working together.

Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you. you can use the stakeholder planning tool to plan how you will communicate with each stakeholder. The final step is to develop a good understanding of the most important stakeholders so that you know how they are likely to respond. and to your career. Winning support for your projects by Rachel Thompson http://www. you can make a big difference to its success.htm "Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organization I have ever worked with. The next step is to work out their power." As you become more successful in your career. After you have used this tool and created a stakeholder map. and so that you can work out how to win their support you can record this analysis on a stakeholder map. influence and interest. Identify Your Stakeholders 12 . How to Use the Tool: The first step in Stakeholder Analysis is to identify who your stakeholders are. The more people you affect. Stakeholder Management is an important discipline that successful people use to win support from others. By engaging the right people in the right way in your project. These people could be strong supporters of your work or they could block it.Stakeholder Analysis. you can ensure that they fully understand what you are doing and understand the benefits of your project this means they can support you actively when necessary You can anticipate what people's reaction to your project may be. the actions you take and the projects you run will affect more and more people. Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have to be won over.com/pages/article/newPPM_07. The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are that: y y y y You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage. It helps them ensure that their projects succeed where others fail. and build into your plan the actions that will win people's support. The steps of Stakeholder Analysis are explained below: Step 1.mindtools. the more likely it is that your actions will impact people who have power and influence over your projects. You then use Stakeholder Planning to build the support that helps you succeed... their input can also improve the quality of your project Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources this makes it more likely that your projects will be successful By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently. so you know who you should focus on.

Shareholders Alliance partners Suppliers Lenders Analysts Future recruits Government Trades associations The press Interest groups The public The community Step 2. Some may be intere sted in what you are doing. 13 . Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within a stakeholder organization. ultimately you must communicate with people. Prioritize Your Stakeholders You may now have a long list of people and organizations that are affected by your work. or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion. The table below shows some of the people who might be stakeholders in your job or in your projects: Your boss Senior executives Your coworkers Your team Customers Prospective customers Your family Remember that although stakeholders may be both organizations and people. Map out your stakeholders on a Power/Interest Grid on our freetemplate as shown in figure 1. For example. Some of these may have the power either to block or advance. and classify them by their power over your work and by their interest in your work. Your family may have high interest.The first step in your stakeholder analysis is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. your boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. think of all the people who are affected by your work. others may not care. As part of this. who have influence or power over it. but are unlikely to have power over it.

y Low power. so that you can easily see which stakeholders are expected to be blockers or critics. and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. monitor these people. interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy.Someone's position on the grid shows you the actions you have to take with them: y High power. You can summarize the understanding you have gained on the stakeholder map. y High power. y Low power. less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied. how will you manage their opposition? Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own right? A very good way of answering these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly people are often quite open about their views. and which stakeholders are likely to be advocates and supporters or your project. Step 3. less interested people: again. and others who are neutral in orange. Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are: y y y y y y y y y 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. what will win them around to support your project? If you don't think you will be able to win them around. and asking people's opinions is often the first step in building a successful relationship with them. These people can oft n be very e helpful with the detail of your project. but not so much that they become bored with your message. You also need to know how best to engage them in your project and how best to communicate with them. Understand Your Key Stakeholders You now need to know more about your key stakeholders. blockers and critics in red. A good way of doing this is by color coding: showing advocates and supporters in green. interested people: keep these people adequately informed. You need to know how they are likely to feel about and react to your project. 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. but do not bore them with excessive communication. 14 .

you will affect more and more people. §       Ex   ¡  pl : 15 . he first stage of this is brainstorm who your stakeholders are. Conduct a full stakeholder analysis.F e2s s an e ample of this in this e ample you can see that a lot of effort nee s to be put into persuading Piers and Michael of the benefits of the project Janet and Amanda also need to managed well as powerful supporters © ¨  § § ¥¤ ¦ £¢ ¨ You can create your own e ample of stakeholder analysis at work whether for your current role a job you want to do or a new project. Others may be strong supporters of your work. What actions can you take to get more from your supporters or win over your critics  § oints: As the work you do and the projects you run become more important. and to plot this on a Power/Interest grid. where you identify and start to understand your most important stakeholders. Some of these people have the power to undermine your projects and your position. he ne t step is to prioritize them by power and interest. Stakeholder Analysis is the first stage of this. he final stage is to get an understanding of what motivates your stakeholders and howyou need to win them around. Stakeholder Management is the process by which you identify your key stakeholders and win their support. Ask yourself whether you are communicating as effectively as you should be with your stakeholders.

No influence. No Importance. 5. 3. Divide each quadrant into fourths again. 16 . Draw a box divided into four equal quadrants. Label down the left side starting at the top with Significant Importance. clients. Those in the high importance/influence category will be the first ones to consult since they carry a heavy weight in the direction of the project. You will also require the input of your team members. your matrix will be a graphic display of who hold the most s importance and influence (the group in the upper left-hand corner) and who holds the least amount of influence and importance (the group in the lower right-hand corner).com/office/project-management/articles/3713. chair persons. little influence. 2. Make sure you create this box large enough to fit in the various stakeholders when it is the appropriate time.How Do You Make a Stakeholder Analysis Matrix? Ronda Roberts http://www. 4. Some influence. you can then use this list to weigh the influence of each person. Begin by making a list of anyone whom has interest or influence over your project. Here is a list of the next steps: 1. 6. Examples of stakeholders may be investors. You should now have sixteen quadrants.brighthub. Once created. Little Importance. Some Importance. Label across the top starting at the left with Significant influence.aspx Creating these simple matrices requires a pen and some paper. etc. When you are done. Begin to organize your stakeholders according to importance and influence.

Stakeholder Register Template A Stakeholder Register is only as good as the questions it manages to answer. you d typically create a list of all project stakeholders and then determining their expectations. Therefore. and requirements? Which stakeholders are critical for the entire project and which ones are more active for specific project phases? How often do stakeholders require communication and what is the preferred communication method? What type of communication is required? Is there a reporting relationship between stakeholders? These are some of the questions that a Stakeholder Register addresses.brighthub. impact. The act of getting answers to these questions is called Stakeholder Analysis. interests. and influence on the project. A Stakeholder Register is a document that contains a list of external and internal project stakeholders. Here is a sample stakeholder register template: 17 . You can customize this list as per your project communication requirements.com/office/project-management/articles/96416. company name? What are the stakeholder expectations. impact. ThePower/Interest grid and the Influence/Impact grid are useful during stakeholder analysis. designation. The trick is to have enough information to make it useful and not too much that ll render it bulky. contact information. The Stakeholder Register is a document that is shared with project stakeholders.Stakeholder Register Example and Template Rupen Sharma http://www.aspx Which stakeholder can be a serious road block? What are the key expectations of stakeholders? How often should there be communication between stakeholders? Let s look at the project stakeholder register for the answers Introduction to Stakeholder Registers A Stakeholder is any person or entity that can influence the success of a project in a negative or positive manner. it should never contain information that is damaging or can be construed in a negative manner. it is fairly important to first have the questions in your mind before creating a Stakeholder Register. The register typically addresses the following questions: What are the stakeholder names. let's look at the Stakeholder Register template and a Stakeholder Register example. Next. Therefore. Note: A stakeholder can also be an entity. such as an organization. In Stakeholder Analysis.

there are generally four categories: Positive Influencer. These answers are then entered into a stakeholder register. This is probably because the development team is not located in the same geography as the stakeholder. The value of a Stakeholder Register is dependent on Stakeholder Analysis. which she is responsible for. she is probably an Influencer. This is probably because the project is part of a larger initiative. see image below. A stakeholder can influence the project in many ways. The populate the Stakeholder Register given a specific and simplistic project situation. you d get answers to the questions listed above. After conducting Stakeholder Analysis. The external stakeholders require weekly communication via video conferencing. Make sure you spend time on this and use appropriate tools. 18 . there are two external stakeholders and on internal. Mandy Ali is a supporter. Negative Influencer. and Road Block. Stakeholder Register Example Now. For the Stakeholder Register of the larger register. such as theSalience Model for Stakeholder Management. Supporter. In this example. the stakeholder register template has columns that address specific questions. Take care not to make it into a bulky document.As you can see. You can add and remove columns as you deem suitable for your project. As you can see in the Stakeholder Register displayed above. let s see how the Stakeholder Register is populated.

In turn. Next.What Is the Power/Interest Grid? Rupen Sharma http://www. So. This helps you channel your time and energy on the stakeholders that have the most power and interest in project success. is a simple tool that helps you categorize project stakeholders with increasing power and interest in the project. Some of these stakeholders are more critical than others. PMP Tip: The Power/Interest Grid is part of Project Communication Management as per the fourth version of the PMBOK. Keeping Track of Stakeholders The Power/Interest Grid. let s see what the Power/Interest Grid looks like. you: y y y y Document the interests and motivations of stakeholders in the project Identify conflicting interests between stakeholders Identify relationships between stakeholders Determine the level of participation required from each stakeholder The Power Interest Grid in stakeholder prioritization pertains to stakeholder interests in the project. 19 .com/office/project-management/articles/80523. During the stakeholder analysis of a project. By using this matrix.aspx Managing a project or an initiative involves various stakeholders. This tool helps you focus on the key stakeholders who can make or break your project. You should know what it is and how to apply it. Each quadrant gives you an indication of the level of stakeholder management that you ll have to employ and may also influence thetype of communication style. which is also known as the Power/Interest Matrix. you can determine which stakeholders to manage closely and which stakeholders to put minimum effort in.brighthub. which ones should you focus on? Use the Power/Interest Grid. The four quadrants of the Power/Interest Grid are shown below. this helps you in stakeholder prioritization. Stakeholder Management is a key role of a project manager. Power/Interest Grid Template The Power/Interest Grid contains four quadrants.

you ll be able to determine the actual interests of stakeholders and manage them appropriately by using the Power/Interest Grid in stakeholder prioritization. Therefore. there are several other factors that play a role in impacting the bottom line. identifying and gauging the interest levels of stakeholders is critical when using the Power/Interest Grid in stakeholder prioritization. This success would in turn impact the bottom line of the organization. For example. The sign-off authority on the deliverables is someone who ll fall in the Manage Closely quadrant in the Power/Interest Grid. the CEO and CFO interest will not be as interested in your project success as your Program Manager. suppose you are the project manager of a consulting project. As a matter of fact. if you don t manage them properly. However. but in relative terms. As you might have already deduced. there are many softskills for project manager qualifications that focus on Communication and Stakeholder Management. your business development manager (the person that got your organization the contract) does not need to be managed closely.Stakeholders that lie in the Manage Closely quadrant can easily ensure project failure. In turn. You might think a certain stakeholder has a high level of interest in project success. may actually not. The bottom line is of very high interest to the CEO and CFO. Hence. this will reduce the project negative risk caused by stakeholder mismanagement. 20 . in relative terms. a project manager has a very high interest in ensuring the project is successful. Drawing Out Stakeholder Interests The following questions can help you identify the interests of stakeholders: What do stakeholders expect from the project and how do they benefit? Are there any conflicting interests that the stakeholder may have with the project? How committed is the stakeholder to the project? Is he/she willing to commit tangible resources? Are there relationship conflicts between stakeholders that can hinder the project? By getting answers to these questions. For example. interest is very subjective and can be error prone. You may want to include her in the Monitor quadrant. However.

Power is substantially easier to quantify. The Power/Interest grid is a helpful tool for such a situation. Unlike Interest. Typically. That s an interesting project! It is for this very reason you should dig deeper. if the stakeholder expresses a high level of interest. then you might want to explore whether the stakeholder has any conflicting interests or the motivational factors that lead to the high level of interest.com/office/project-management/articles/80549.Prioritizing Stakeholders With a Power/Interest Grid Rupen Sharma http://www. The grid illustrates the power/interest relative to other stakeholders as well. For example. However. don t just consider formal (by designation) authority.aspx You are conducting a Stakeholder Analysis and need a way to assess the relative power/interest of each stakeholder. The project has the following stakeholders: Architect: Jacob User Experience Lead: Samantha Testing Lead: Masakali Client Site Project Manager: Om Business Development Manager: Mora Competitors: XYZ Organization Project Sponsor: Clark Project Auditors: Ram and Tikku For simplicity's sake. You can get the formal authority from the organizational hierarchy. The Power/Interest Grid is created by gauging the power and interest of each project stakeholder.brighthub. Project stakeholders usually have formal and informal authority. Before you use the Power/Interest grid for stakeholder prioritization. which can then be used to influence the outcome of a project. You can do this by asking direct and indirect questions. and she will most probably say. Let s walk through an example. Many stakeholders may not have the designation but have significant informal authority. The project involves the creation of a software application for a client. you need to have a list of stakeholders and have their interest in the project documented. I have mentioned a small number of stakeholders. For example. Looking at the list above. there are more. Example of a Power/Interest Grid for Stakeholder Prioritization Suppose you are kickstarting a new project. If you can't gauge the level of interest of stakeholders. one possible Power/Interest Grid for stakeholder prioritization is shown below 21 . Gauging the interest of a stakeholder is not as easy as it seems. you'll need to manage the risk appropriately. you might ask a stakeholder who is remotely connected with the project about his interest in the project.

the project sponsor would move up to the Manage Closely quadrant. as a project manager. Suppose in a project audit. let s look at an example. Hence. the Power/Interest grid may evolve. As you can see. you would manage him/her closely. The key here is that you should know that stakeholders that are in: High Power. For example. These are the stakeholders you spend the most time and effort in managing. For communication to be effective. High Power. In this case. The person with the most power and interest to influence the application performance is the architect. the power of the architect in ensuring project success would increase. Low Interest quadrant must not be bored with over communication. may demand more frequent project updates and hence may need to be managed more closely. Leave the micro details out. Key Points in the Power/Interest Grid for Stakeholder Prioritization To understand the key points in using the Power/Interest grid for stakeholder prioritization. . In such a scenario. a major faux-pas would be to send these stakeholders the daily team meeting notes. Similarly. High Interest quadrant need to be fully engaged. The project sponsor. is not doing well. if a certain aspect of the project. you will need to monitor it more closely.Depending on the project scenario. you should know and understand your audience 22 . it was found that the cost of the project is going too high. who was in the Keep Informed quadrant. the communication for the stakeholders varies with the project and the project scenario. such as application performance.

Next. and lead your project to a success without stakeholder conflicts. For example. In addition. Introduction The Influence/Impact grid. which is also known as the Influence/Impact matrix.What is the Influence/Impact Grid (Influence/Impact Matrix)? Rupen Sharma http://www. This helps you channel you time and energy on the stakeholders that can make-or-break your project. spend time as per influence and impact stakeholders have. you can prioritize stakeholders requests. By focusing on the key set of project stakeholders.com/office/project-management/articles/81618. PMP Tip: The Influence/Impact grid is part of Project Communication Management as per the fourth version of the PMBOK. you can determine which stakeholders to manage closely and which stakeholders to put minimum effort in. This stakeholder would also have the ability to dictate the length of the critical path. Influence is the level of involvement the person has and impact is the ability of the stakeholder to bring out a desired change. a stakeholder that has the ability to set deadlines and hence the project schedule would be classified as high impact. By definition. it helps you create a communication and stakeholder strategy. you: y y y y y y y y Document the interests and motivations of stakeholders in the project Which stakeholder has influence over project resources? Identify the stakeholders that can make the project unsuccessful Identify conflicting interests and relationships between stakeholders Identify stakeholders whose influence evolves during the project Determine communication media and style is best suited for each stakeholder Etc. the support isn t provided and to make matters the stakeholder influenced others to not accept your idea. you need support for a couple of ideas from one of the stakeholders. You could avoid such scenarios by using the Influence/Impact grid. Unfortunately. let s see how the Influence/Impact Grid looks like. This tool is very similar to the Power/Interest or Power/Influence grids. The Influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management pertains to the level of influence stakeholders have on the project. is a tool that helps you understand which stakeholders have the most influence and the impact they can make on project success. You should know what it is and how to apply it. By using this matrix. This could be during project planning or project execution.brighthub.aspx In a meeting. During the Stakeholder Analysis of a project. Influence/Impact Grid 23 .

identifying and gaging the interest levels of stakeholders is critical when using the Influence/Impact grid for stakeholder management. 24 . As you might have already deduced. you ll be able to determine the actual influence of stakeholders and manage them appropriately by using the Influence/Impact grid for stakeholder management. The four quadrants of the Influence/Impact Grid is shown below. may actually not. The sign-off authority on the deliverables is someone who ll fall in the Manage Closely quadrant in the Influence/Impact Grid. but in relative terms. suppose you the project manager of a software product development project. Questions to Determine Stakeholder Influence and Impact The following questions can help you gage the level of influence and impact of stakeholders have on the outcome of your project: y y y y y y y What are the responsibilities of the stakeholders? What do stakeholders expect from the project and how to they benefit? Are there any conflicting interests that the stakeholder may have with the project? How committed is the stakeholder to the project? Is he/she willing to commit tangible resources? What are the consequences of the not managing this stakeholder? Can stakeholders influence others. You might think a certain stakeholder has high level of influence in project success. influence is very subjective and can be error prone. who are the dominant stakeholders? Are there any threats posed by stakeholders? By getting answers to these questions. For example. if you don t manage them properly. Each quadrant gives you an indication of the level of stakeholder management that you ll have to employ.The Influence/Impact grid contains four quadrants. Stakeholders that lie in the Manage Closely quadrant can easily ensure project failure. Hence.

com/office/project-management/articles/82899. you can make the most of the Influence/Impact grid. Similarly. The Influence/Impact grid is created by gaging the influence and impact of each project stakeholder. you can draw a correlation between the level influence and the level of involvement a stakeholder has in the project. one possible Influence/Impact matrix or grid is shown below. impact is also subjective and can be a variable of the project scenario and the structure of the organization. The grid illustrates the influence and impact relative to other stakeholders. Example of a Power/Influence Matrix Suppose you are kick starting a new project. Let s walk through an example of using the influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management.Example of the Influence/Impact Grid Rupen Sharma http://www. This can be subjective and later on in this article we'll explore techniques that can help you make it less subjective. A prerequisite to using the Influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management is that you should have evaluated the influence and impact for each project stakeholder. let's take a loot at how to apply the Influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management. However. Gaging the influence and impact of a stakeholder is not as easy as it seems. The project involves the creation of a software application for a client.brighthub. By understanding the dynamics of a project. Now.aspx Which stakeholder has the most influence and the ability to use that influence for project success? This a typical problem faced by many project managers. 25 . The project has the following stakeholders: y y y y y y y Technical Consultant: Jacob Risk Consultant: Nasir Lead Tester: Masakali Project Manager at Client Site: Om Business Dev Manager: Mora Sponsor of Project: Clark UX Head: Samantha Typically. there'd be more project stakeholders to manage. Looking at the list above.

Therefore. the influence and impact of each stakeholder may vary.Depending on the project scenario. You can do this by asking questions. Another example would be could be when certain decisions need to be made by using a Decision Tree. the Influence/Impact matrix may look like the one shown above. such as: y y y Who will promote/support the project. To read an example of such a decision. let s look at an example. The other key success factor is to gage the influence and impact of each stakeholder accurately. which consultant did they have on board? 26 . read the Using a Decision Trees Example in Project Risk Management to Calculate Expected Monetary Value article. The key to using the Influence/Impact matrix is to understand the project scenario. but may also evolve to the one shown below if the project is hit by massive cost overruns caused by poor risk mitigation strategies. Decisions that can change the direction of a project usually involve stakeholders that are in the Keep Satisfied or Manage Closely quadrants. provided that they are involved? Who is influential in the project area and what areas do they have influence over? Have other projects faced similar problems? If yes. Key Points in the Influence/Impact Grid in Stakeholder Management To understand the key points in using the Influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management.

it only makes sense to closely monitor the vendor's performance by holding weekly status meetings. This means that while planning the communication strategy for the project. you have a project in which there is a client who wants to be updated every week on the status of the project and you have placed this stakeholder in the Monitor quadrant. you will rarely have weekly check points with this client. review it with people to gain expert judgment. When the project execution began.8 and now it seems the project is probably not going to meet the deadline. Similar to the Power/Interest grid and the Influence/Impact matrix. Power/Influence Matrix for Stakeholder Management The communication strategy of a project depends on the Power/Influence mat ix. If you get this step wrong. What led to this problem? During stakeholder analysis. the Power/Influence matrix for stakeholder management has fours quadrants. the vendor should have been identified and placed in the Manage Closely quadrant. Stakeholders are placed in each quadrant based on their level of influence and the power (authority) they possess. The Schedule Performance Index is consistently under 0. Let's look at another example. the vendor was identified as a stakeholder and placed in the Monitor quadrant. you need to place each stakeholder in one of the quadrants of the Power/Influence grid. Let's take an example that is slightly more complicated than the previous example.aspx About which project stakeholder to give time too? Or. the activities of this vendor lie on the critical path of the project. 27 . Before using the Power/Influence matrix. Tip: After you have created a Power/Influence. you find that one of the vendors is consistently delaying the project by not delivering as per the expectation set. To make matters worse. the consequences will lead to ineffective stakeholder management and communication within the project. you are managing a project. Suppose. meetings were scheduled as per the Monitor classification. In this example.Examples of Using the Power/Influence Matrix for Stakeholder Management Rupen Sharma http://www. Suppose. This minor change in the communication plan has lead to the project coming back on track. but many other types managers who have stakeholders use the Power/Influence grid to for effective stakeholder management. are you wondering how to get the most out of your stakeholders? Let's take a look at some examples of using the Power/Influence matrix for stakeholder management. This example illustrates the consequences of not placing project stakeholders in the appropriate quadrant.com/office/project-management/articles/82901. After conducting a fishbone analysis of the delay. Inevitably. Let's take a simplistic example. This translated to having very few meetings with the vendor. Not only Project Managers.brighthub. this will lead to a frustrated client and the project is surely headed for disaster.

might not require close management. For example. However. a vendor performing an activity that is not in the critical path. the critical path changes and the activity performed by the vendor is now in the critical path. This means that the vendor needs to be in the Manage Closely quadrant. You should revisit it as the project evolves. if during the course of the project.The Power/Influence grid for stakeholder management need not be a static artifact. 28 . The for this is that stakeholder that were deemed to be in one quadrant any very well end up in another when the project is under fire.

influence. 2.brighthub. The model (credited to Lucidus Consulting.Spheres of Influence http://www. see Lucid Thought 24) uses the three axes of Attitude. Using the model 29 . and negative 1. literally with a model that includes not just Power verus Interest. urgency.com/office/project-management/articles/23481. in my opinion. An excellent article on stakeholder analysis has already been written on BrightHub by Ronda Levine. Congratulations. Attitude: are they supportive? Are they detractors? Where do they fit on this scale? Power: regardless of attitude. perhaps using a scale of positive 1. with a node at each extreme. and Attitude. The PMBOK® Guide covers Stakeholder Analysis as a tool and technique under the Identify Stakeholders process group. or Interest versus Attitude. but all three: Power. you have identified your stakeholders. The set up This is a follow-up to my earlier article on Stakeholder Identification. providing some examples. See the attached image as an example.a way to look concurrently at the attitude. Power. can they influence the project for better or for worse? In others words. all together. The new PMBOK Guide lists four classification models: y y y y Power/Interest grid Power/Influence grid Influence/Impact grid Salience model (classes of stakeholders based on their power. Think of each stakeholder in terms of attitude. and power. and power of each stakeholder for efficient communications. I d like to build on that and provide you with a couple of further references and a new dimension.aspx So. What to do Here's what to do. interest. and legitimacy) The model I share with you. and Interest. each running from negative to positive extremes. what can they DO with their attitude? Interest: How deeply "invested" is the stakeholder in the project's outcome? Compile a list of your stakeholders and rate them along these three attributes. and 3. Interest. 2 and 3. Look for extremes. excels at taking aspects of all of these and getting it into one graphic from which you can start to literally see your stakeholders in a different light. Now what? This article discusses a way to analyze these stakeholders to get the most out of each of them for your project .

Negative Attitude Acquaintance: Low Power.The model (credited to Lucidus Consulting. Negative Attitude Time Bomb: High Power. Practical Project Risk Management: The ATOM Methodology". The Spheres of Influence version of the model is my own. After you ve fully identified the set of stakeholders. High Interest. each of these personalities for your stakeholders can be approached with a separate. Power. and Interest. High Interest. For example. see Lucid Thought 24) uses the three axes of Attitude. used to caricature the eight points in their model to help convey the idea more powerfully. Negative Attitude Friend: Low Power. This yields eight spheres (cubes in the original article) with the following names: Trip Wire: Low Power. each running from negative to positive extremes. with a node at each extreme. Positive Attitude Savior: High Power. put them thorugh this analysis to see where they fit and develop a separate custom strategy for communications with each of these stakeholders. High Interest. Low Interest. perhaps you can stop going around in circles with your project stakeholders! 30 . the Sleeping Giant is a possible source of tremendous support for your project. Positive Attitude Turning now from analysis to management. You can see how this analysis helps mold the ways in which you should communicate with the different sets of stakeholders identified here. they just need to be awakened to the possibilities of benefit that the project offers them. Low Interest. by David Hillson and Peter Simon. High Interest. special strategy. The book. Low Interest. Negative Attitude Saboteur: High Power. They have the power and attitude to help. I suggest you use this model during your next stakeholder analysis. describes this model in good detail and has a suggested strategy for each of the stakeholder types. Positive Attitude Sleeping Giant: High Power. By using these Spheres of Influence. Positive Attitude Irritant: Low Power. Low Interest.