Project Management: Stakeholder Analysis

In this article, we defined 4 main steps to undertake during a stakeholder analysis on your enterprise.

Stakeholder Analysis in Project Management

Stakeholder analysis is a procedure undertaken in project management, business administration, and conflict resolution to ascertain the groups or individuals that may have an impact on certain actions within the organization (Varvasovszky & Brugha, 2000). Stakeholder analysis assists project managers to gauge the influence that the parties concerned may have on or a project. It serves as a guide that specifies the interests that have to be taken into account when making decisions on a particular project (Crosby, 1992). It also aids in selecting the proper communication channels for each stakeholder group.

Steps in Stakeholder Analysis

Evaluating stakeholders is vital; it is the guaranteed way to get a better understanding of the stakeholders; this would be helpful in gauging the relative interest, powers, and importance interested parties. It is also crucial in forging a good rapport with the stakeholders which results in better-managed relations. Stakeholders are categorized into two groups – primary or secondary. Major stakeholders are directly affected by the project while secondary stakeholders are indirectly impacted. The main stakeholders comprise of anyone with the position or power to wield substantial sway over the project or the business enterprise itself (Varvasovszky & Brugha, 2000).

There are several steps that encompass the ideal stakeholder analysis.

1.Identifying the Key Stakeholders

Identification of the main stakeholders is crucial to the success of any project. It is important to do this to identify how these persons are likely to affect or be affected by the project to work out the best communication channels.

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2.Assessing Stakeholder Interests and impact of the project on their interests

During the examination, project managers should sort and cluster interested parties in accordance with their impact on the project. This information is useful in determining how stakeholder interest and needs should be balanced during the project. The information can be acquired by talking to a section of each stakeholder set (Crosby, 1992).

After the stakeholders have been picked out and grouped in order of their importance by the project managers, this information can be used to obtain support for the project at hand. The information collected can then be tabulated on a stakeholder map for purposes of formulating comprehensive communication channels for each class of stakeholders.

At this juncture, managers need to ascertain how they will sway each stakeholder set to help achieve the project aims. Winning the backing of stakeholders is just but one small part of running a successful venture, but with the influence that they can have on a project, stakeholder analysis is one of the most fundamental factors to consider when planning an efficient and fruitful project.

3.Assessing the Importance and Influence of each stakeholder

Influence denotes to the control that a certain stakeholder has over a project. This power can be exercised by controlling the strategic resources and the decision-making process. On the hand, importance denotes the extent to which the involvement of a certain stakeholder affects the achievement of project goals.

4.Outlining a stakeholder participation strategy

The information obtained from stakeholder assessment can be used to plan stakeholder involvement in the project. Stakeholders who wield the most power and influence should be prioritized and consulted at every stage of project planning and implementation. This does not, however, mean that the views of minority stakeholders should be ignored; it only means that the weight of importance attached should be proportionate to the importance of interested parties to the project and the organization as a whole. Stakeholders of high influence and power ought to be firmly engaged while recognizing the input of the other stakeholders to ensure the support of all the parties.

References

Brugha, R. & Varvasovszky, Z. (2000). Stakeholder analysis: A review. Health policy and planning, 15(3), 239-246.

Crosby, B. (1992). Stakeholder analysis: A vital tool for strategic managers. USAID’s Implementing Policy Change Project.

Douglas, S. P. (1995). Global marketing strategy. McGraw-Hill College.

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