The key to any successful project rests with the support of its stakeholders. Stakeholders are those who are invested in the outcome of a project – for better or worse. Stakeholders will either help or hinder the project, depending on their views.
The project team carries out stakeholder analysis by understanding who has a vested interest in the project, what their views and expectations are, and how they might influence the project as a whole. Customers benefit from recognizing their suppliers as key stakeholders: understanding and addressing a supplier’s needs early in the relationship or project can make efforts like subcontractor agreements go much more smoothly.
It is important at the beginning of any project to create an action plan around stakeholders with the following elements –
1) Identify conduct interviews with key stakeholders whose views will greatly impact the project
2) Organize the information into the stakeholder analysis template (see Downloads tab).
3) Create and implement a plan to manage the stakeholders
On the second tab of the template there is the Stakeholder Analysis Matrix. This is a way to manage an individual’s level of support in accordance with his or her level of influence over the current project. It is most important to recognize those individuals with the highest level of influence early in project, in order to closely manage their support levels as the project moves forward.
When analyzing these individuals, it is important to consider:
- How does this individual process information and make decisions?
- What does this individual stand to gain or lose from this project?
- Who is managing the relationship between the company and this individual?
- What is the quality of the company’s relationship with this individual?
As previously stated, developing a plan to manage stakeholders will minimize risk and will keep projects on course to succeed!