Who is a Stakeholder?
If u have ever been a part of a project then u must be familiar with the term Stakeholder. It’s a commonly used terms in organizations. For those who are hearing it for the first time allow me to explain.
Stakeholder can be an individual, a group or an organization who either has an impact on the project or is impacted by the project. In other words, anyone who can influence the project and anyone who is affected by a project is considered a Stakeholder.
It is crucial to identify stakeholders early on in a project but how to accomplish this task?
Stakeholder Analysis is the answer.
In Stakeholder Analysis information is collected and analysed to find out whose interests must be considered while implementing or developing a project. It helps to identify and understand stakeholders.
Conducting Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder Analysis can be broken down into 3 major steps – Identify, Prioritise and Understand.
Make a list of who are affected by the project and who are interested in the project. It can be an Internal stakeholder, employee or external stakeholders. Referring project documents and consulting project experts can aid you in this process.
There are multiple ways of prioritising or mapping stakeholders. Power interest grid, impact-Priority Matrix, Importance influence grid etc. Prioritizing helps in effectively communicating and managing stakeholders.
Let’s look into the Power interest grid method as an example.
Stake holders are divided into categories based on 2 factors, one is the amount of influence or power they hold over the project and second, how interested are they in the project. The 4 categories are as follows
High power high interest – These are the decision makers. they have high influence in deciding the direction of the project. They also show interest in the project. They must be looped in in communications, do manage them closely.
High Power Low Interest – They are context setters. Although they might not actively engage, they still hold the power to influence course of actions. Remember to keep them satisfied and have them on the positive side.
Low power High Interest – These are subjects whom u can reach out to. They display interest and actively engage in the project but they do not have much power over final decisions. As they are interested, they might provide beneficiary insights. Keep them informed.
Low Power Low interest – These are the set who neither have the power nor interest in the project. Just Monitoring this crowd is enough to keep the project going.
Understanding Stake holders:
To understand create a profile for every stake holder. Listing down few questions that can help you in building the same.
1. What motivate your stake holder?
2. How does this project align with their priorities?
3. How can we change any negative views they have about the project?
4. What is the best way to engage and communicate with them?
5. What info do they want from u and in what form?
6. What would encourage them to support your project
7. What interest do they have in the outcome of the project? Is it positive or negative?
Last but not the least utilize all of this information in effectively managing stakeholders. Communicate based on priority and their preference. This analysis will make your project execution much smoother.