Get the most out of your project stakeholders
Project stakeholders are just like ants in a colony. Ant colonies are superorganisms that produce workers to feed their needs.
Queens are more likely to produce 25% less workers when they share a colony. Workers are able to spot selfish queens. The weaker her chemical cues are, the more likely she will be taken out. Typically, this means the end for the colony because workers are almost always infertile.
Stakeholders, such as worker ants can help you build a strong superorganism or bring it down. It is how well you can understand and meet their needs that will determine your success.
Project failure is often due to underdelivering on the part of stakeholders (those who have an impact on or are impacted by your project).
1. Only 55% of project managers and team leaders feel that project objectives are clear.
2. More than 80% of respondents feel that the requirements process does not adequately address business needs.
3. Only 23% of respondents believe that project managers and stakeholders have been aligned after the project ends.
This article will show you how to win the trust of those who matter. It will walk you through six stakeholder analysis techniques that are surefire winners, and provide a stakeholder analysis example for each.
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Stakeholder Analysis Technique List
Technique 1: Basic Stakeholder Matrix
Quickly assess stakeholder sentiment during kick-off and throughout the project’s lifecycle.
HOW to identify stakeholders. These are people who can have an impact on your project or could be impacted by it.
Make a flip chart sheet with each stakeholder and place their name at the top.
Draw one, two, or all three stars next to their name depending on their influence within the organization. The more stars, they are more influential.
Draw a circle around the stars.
Three keywords that you believe the stakeholder relies on are listed under the stakeholder’s title.
Each sheet should have a narrow column running down its right side. It can be left blank.
List the expectations and criteria for each stakeholder.
Extrapolate how the stakeholder would view performance on each line item from their point. Denote in the narrow column whether their judgment would be fair (yellow), good (green) or poor (red).
Note three quick wins that could help the stakeholder get on board.
Once you are done with all the sheets, create a stakeholder matrix.
Stakeholder issues can be color coded to identify which are individual and which are more general.
Each stakeholder should be ranked according to their influence rating and the needs they fulfill for the company. Consider the stakeholder’s power, legitimacy, attention-getting ability, and power.
Find out how stakeholders feel about your project.
Source: Adapted by Mitchell et al. 1997.
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Technique 2: Power vs. Interest Grid
Stakeholders can block or promote your project. They may care about what it is that you are doing or not. You can identify the most valuable stakeholders to engage to help you determine where to spend your money.
To create a single surface, tape four flip chart sheets to a wall. It will be two sheets high by two sheets wide.
Draw X and Z axes. Labeling X interest (from high to low) and Y interest (also high to low).
Write the stakeholder names on sticky note (one per sticky) with your team. You can use the Basic Stakeholder Matrix to pull names.