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Stakeholder Analysis

Knowing who is relevant for a project


A stakeholder analysis is a process of identifying all the internal people the project will involve or affect before the project begins. Grouping them according to their levels of participation, interest, and influence in the project and determining how to involve and communicate with each of these stakeholder groups throughout the project is the stakeholder analysis

In general a Stakeholder-Analysis can be divided in 3 steps and can be done alone or with the entire team.

The process needs to begin by brainstorming who the possible stakeholders are. It is important to think of all the people the project will involve or affect so everyone doing the analysis won't forget a potentially important stakeholder. When the team has finished determining the stakeholders, they should start categorising them in terms of their influence, interests and level of participation. A power/interest grid will be a good way of doing that. Depending on the position the team assigns to the different stakeholders, the grid will show the team how to engage with each stakeholder group:

The team must manage closely with...

Stakeholders who have a high power and high interest in the project. It is important to fully engaging with this category of stakeholders, make the greatest effort to make them happy and satisfy them.

The team must keep the...

people with high power and few interest satisfied. The team should put enough effort into keeping this kind of people satisfied, but not too much so they might become bored of unimportant and disturbing messages.

The team should keep people informed...

if they have a low power but highly interested. Informing these people over time is a good thing and when talking to them the team members should make sure no major issues emerge. This category or stakeholders can often be helpful when it comes to details of the project.

Monitoring people with

low power and few interest is the best thing to do but the team must watch out to not bore them with excessive communication and information.

After categorising and prioritising the stakeholders, the team should figure out on how to communicate with each type of stakeholder and how to best earn their support. Everyone should think about what motivates them, what other priorities they have and how the project team could align the project with the stakeholders' priorities.

The results

A Stakeholder-Analysis will help to get an understanding of involved parties and to gain an early alignment among all stakeholders on goals and plans. Furthermore, it will help to address conflicts and issues early on.

Agile Project Management

Agile project management is especially important for software design and software development as many tasks build up on each other...

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