A common method of stakeholder analysis is a Stakeholder Matrix. This is where stakeholders are plotted against two variables. These variables can be the importance of the stakeholder against their influence.
Boxes A, B and C are the key stakeholders of the project. Each box is summarised below:
These are stakeholders who have a high degree of influence on the project and who are also of high importance for its success. Good working relationships with these stakeholders must be made.
These are stakeholders of high importance to the success of the project, but with low influence. These are stakeholders who might be beneficiaries of a new service, but who have little ‘voice’ in its development.
These are stakeholders with high influence, who can therefore affect the project outcomes, but whose interests are not necessarily aligned with the overall goals of the project.
The stakeholders in this box, with low influence, or importance to the project objectives, may require limited monitoring or evaluation, but are of low priority.
How to Use
- Make a list of all stakeholders.
- Write the name of each stakeholder on a post-it note or index card.
- Rank the stakeholders on a scale of one to five, according to one of the criteria on the matrix, such as ‘interest in the project outcomes’ or ‘interest in the subject’.
- Keeping this ranking for one of the criteria, plot the stakeholders against the other criteria of the matrix. This is where using post-it notes or removable cards are useful.
- Ask the following questions:
- Are there any surprises?
- Which stakeholders do we have the most/least contact with?
- Which stakeholders might we have to make special efforts to ensure engagement?