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August 14th, 2019

How Stakeholder Analysis can help you to understand the views of stakeholders with respect to change.

So what is it?

Stakeholder Analysis provides a way for the project team to predict the views of the stakeholders with respect to the change.

A stakeholder is anyone who:

  • Owns the process/es
  • Controls critical resources within the processes affected
  • Can block the initiative
  • Will need to approve parts of the change
  • Shapes the thinking of those who will be involved, etc

What is it used for?

It helps the project team develop a detailed understanding of the key stakeholders to the change, so that a strategy can be developed to influence support.

Note: a critical mass of support is needed for the change to stand a chance of success.

How to do it:

  1. As a project team, identify the key stakeholders and list them out.
  2. Then, as a team, discuss each individual and either objectively or subjectively assess the likely support they will give to the change, (e.g. “at the last Q and A session Sarah clearly stated she did not agree with this type of change”, “James is likely to support it because his staff have similar objectives to ours”)
  3. For those where no information is available then team members should take an action to research the position by talking with others
  4. Mark where they are today and where they need to be and then plan actions to be taken to move them from current position to the desired position

Output:

An agreed, documented team view of the stakeholders and an action plan to gain critical mass of support for the change.

Tips and guidelines:

  1. Keep the output and points of view within the team
  2. Don’t be influenced by personal opinions towards the stakeholders (do you like them or not!) – try and gain an understanding of their views to the change, however their views of the individuals may influence their viewpoint
  3. Create an achievable action plan – e.g. Action: Invite Bob to a project presentation and explain the benefits of the change to him. This will help move him from a neutral position to a supporter once he sees what’s in it for him

When assessing the likely support the stakeholders will give to the change, it may be beneficial to the team to ‘map’ this pictorially.  Plot the stakeholders against their influence and level of impact to them as in the example shown here.

Conclusion

Stakeholders need to be considered in achieving project goals, their participation and support is vital to the success of an improvement project.

Early identification of your stakeholders will prove crucial to ensure your project’s success.

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Ken PowellKen is a Partner in Bourton Group, his expertise lies in operational improvement and change management.  He has a broad range of improvement experience including the application of Lean and Six Sigma tools, using an adaptable and engaging approach which has proven successful when leading teams through change and improvement programmes.  Ken is currently leading operational improvement and change management programmes for clients in the Manufacturing and Construction arena.

Bourton Group LLP the award-winning Operational Improvement Consultancy – read more about our award winning project here.

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