Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Conducting our stakeholder analysis, part of Project Management Foundations: Stakeholders.
- Once we have identified our stakeholders, we can start doing some analysis and documenting relevant information about their take on our project and what influences they may have on project outcomes. The most common areas stakeholders influence projects follow the acronym PESTLE. Are they concerned about, or can they influence, the political elements of our work, economic, social, technical, legal, or environmental? To create our stakeholder classification matrix, we can simply build on the stakeholder analysis worksheet started in the charter and add columns that are meaningful for the current project.
We already have their role in the project, now we can document their interest in our work. Simply distill down into one or two words or concepts what they care about most. Then we can capture their degree of support for our initiative. Are they potential champions who will carry our message and our cause, or are they bystanders who will simply watch? If you feel they might resist the change we're trying to create, you can note that as well.
Are they entrenched in their position for a reason, or might you be able to change their opinion? Next we can document how much their support or lack thereof will impact the project. What are the risks if we ignore or neglect stakeholders? What are the benefits of getting them involved? We can also note who the thought leaders are they turn to when making decisions. By identifying and analyzing stakeholder relationships with the project and with our stakeholders, we'll be prepared to leverage existing relationships to build a strong coalition of leaders.
This coalition leadership style helps smooth the path and build awareness and support for the change we are creating. In our wind energy project, we noted several members of the financial group. Sally is the CFO. She knows this project will bring a lot of revenue in for the company once the wind farm is up and operational. Susan is the Director of Finance working under Sally and is concerned with the capital outlay and project expenditures required during the build out of the turbines.
When Mary Evans, the Accounting Manager working for Susan, brings a monthly report to Susan's attention showing expenditures in excess of the budgeted amount, Susan wants to limit the funding to the project and ask the team to cut future expenditures to make up the difference. Haley, the Project Manager, realizing the strong support she has from Sally, chooses to include Sally in a meeting with Susan to review the approved change requests that caused the spike in expenses and show how the added elements will benefit the overall project as approved by the entire change control board that Sally sits on.
By leveraging the relationships and understanding the project supporters, Haley was able to help Susan understand the change and align Susan with the change control board's decision. Remember, stakeholder analysis identifies the interests, expectations, and influence factors of your stakeholders and relates them back to the purpose of your project.
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