A stakeholder is a party interested in your project or initiative. Stakeholders can be individuals, groups, or organizations. The project managers are responsible for identifying and selecting the required stakeholders while undertaking a project. It is important to note that a successful project in the IT field or any other sector involves internal and external stakeholders.
Stakeholder analysis is the method of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project. The internal stakeholders include the top organization management team, project team members, and project managers, while the external stakeholders may include the government, customers, contractors, or suppliers.
It identifies and assesses the importance of individuals, groups, or organizations interested in an initiative, project, or policy. There are three key steps to follow while undertaking the analysis.
First is to identify the stakeholders who are to be involved in your project. Secondly is to identify the selected stakeholders’ interests, power, and influence in undertaking the project to understand who should focus on which sector or part of the project. Lastly, understand the stakeholder’s view of the project and assess their willingness to support your project.
Why Is Stakeholder Analysis Important?
By undertaking the stakeholder analysis in your project, you will get assured of the below-discussed advantages.
1. Getting your project started
The project will easily be put into shape, and its implementation will begin within the shortest time possible. It is made possible by getting the opinions of your influential and key stakeholders that help you define the project early.
2. Improving project quality
By doing the stakeholder analysis you can find the stakeholders’ input at the start of the project will help improve your project’s quality. You will be able to win resources that will be important in implementing your project. The resources may include financial support, time, and resourceful people to guarantee the success of your project.
3. Preparation of future outcome
Stakeholder analysis will help you get ahead of the game, enabling you to anticipate and predict the stakeholders’ reactions to your project as it develops. Thus, you will be able to win their support whenever necessary.
When To Perform Stakeholder Analysis?
Performing Stakeholder analysis before embarking on any project is essential. The earlier you identify the stakeholders, there are high the chances of getting everything right towards achieving your project goals. Early identification of the stakeholders ensures that all the stakeholders are fully aware of your project and its objectives.
The project vision is made aware to all the involved parties, and you can work towards achieving a common goal.
The structures to achieve the end goal are adequately laid out, giving a high possibility of a smooth implementation process. They can provide their input and feedback early to help improve your project.
Additionally, they can help to identify potential risks and issues which could impact the project and make necessary changes to address them. Finally, the stakeholders can identify the potential allies or partners for the project, which can be beneficial in achieving its objectives.
How To Conduct Stakeholder Analysis?
The procedure of conducting the stakeholder analysis may vary depending on the organization, industry and the team mandated to perform the process, but the common steps involved in many stakeholders’ analyses are listed below.
This step involves majorly brainstorming among the project team to identify the potential stakeholders that need to be included in the project. It would be best if you did a proper analysis to avoid leaving out any pivotal stakeholders at this early stage. You come up with a list of various stakeholders that you feel are important in implementing your project.
Prioritization of stakeholders
Since you have already identified all your potential stakeholders at this second stage, you group them into different categories. You categorize them in terms of interests, influence, and the level of their involvement in your project. It can be simplified by creating the power-interest grid table to easily identify the individual stakeholder’s importance in the implementation of the project. The roles that each stakeholder will play are spelled out at this stage.
Winning the stakeholders
You already know the pivotal stakeholders needed to implement your project at this stage. It is now time to identify how to best way to win the support of your preferred stakeholders. You have to write a proposal to the potential stakeholders that best aligns with their beliefs and vision to win them to your side easily and motivate them to be involved in your project. Create a positive view of your project and ensure that your priorities align with the work done by the potential stakeholder.
Examples Of The Stakeholder Analysis Model
Stakeholder analysis is essential to note that it is easy to create your example of analysis depending on your job or a new project that you want to undertake. All you need is to conduct a complete analysis using the above mentioned steps.
It would be best if you populated the power-interest grid table with stakeholders that you find essential to implement your project. Find effective ways to communic fate to your intended stakeholders to win their support in helping you achieve your project goals.
Examples of projects are.
1. Customer relationship management software development
2. Enterprise resource planning management system development
3. Supply chain management software
4. Online file-keeping software system
Keep in mind the software mapping process, which effectively finds the key stakeholders related to your project. It will help identify all individuals interested in your project outcome. The salience model also determines your importance to your stakeholders and their weight when making decisions and executing your project.
Benefits Of Stakeholder Analysis
Several benefits of stakeholder analysis are achieved when you ensure that you have done a thorough analysis before kicking off your project. Some of the benefits are discussed below;
1. Identification of the right information
You can get the adequate and correct information to share with your stakeholders. It makes it easier for them to understand your project. It further increases your project visibility to the executive stakeholders.
2. Helps in developing quality and viable project
You will be able to develop a good schedule and plan to guide you in the implementation of the project, thus guaranteeing you high chances of achieving your goals. Ease of identifying possible challenges and risks and developing ways to eliminate them.
3. Gaining additional benefits to your project
When the stakeholders understand your project adequately, they can offer you financial and resource support whenever necessary.
4. Building trust
You can identify the key stakeholders you require in implementing your project. You will know the right people to consult regarding a particular issue.
5. Timely completion of the project
You will be able to develop milestones that need to be achieved to complete the project fully. Assurance of accountability throughout the project is earned.
Stakeholder Analysis Template
A specific analysis template is used to classify stakeholders in a project and assess their interests in the given project. It is used in the documentation of your project expectations, input planning, and all other activities involved in the project.
It is also appropriate to determine the level to which the stakeholders influence your project, how you wish them to contribute, and the level at which you engage them.
You can have a table created and each column filled with the following details to guide in having an analysis template.
i. Stakeholder Name or Group Name.
ii. Internal Or External Stakeholders
iii. Unaware, Resistant, Neutral, Supportive, or Leading?
iv. Level of Influence (1-5, with 5 being the lowest)
v. Ability to Impact Resources (1-5)
vi. Total Score
vii. What does this stakeholder need? Stakeholder’s greatest concerns?
viii. What is needed from this stakeholder?
ix. What is the risk if this stakeholder is not engaged? (add to risk plan)
Who are the key stakeholders?
A key stakeholder is among the most critical stakeholders in an organization. They are highly interested in seeing the success of the company. The success or failure of a project is majorly dependent on them.
What is stakeholder mapping?
It is the process of laying out all the stakeholders involved in a project to get a visual representation of the people who influence the project.
What are the three components of the salience model?
The salience model spells out the importance of a given stakeholder in a project and has three components, namely, power, legitimacy, and urgency; all represented together in a Venn diagram.
What is the purpose of stakeholder analysis?
It is the process of identifying the key stakeholders that are to be involved in a given project. You also establish the relationship between the stakeholders and their role in the project implementation.