This is just a brief introduction to a classic method for performing stakeholder analysis. It’s a simple concept and I’m including it since it’s another good example of a 4-box model.
To misquote Helmuth von Moltke the Elder:
No project survives contact with the customer
Every change activity has to deal with people. Whatever you’re planning, you’ll affect some people more than others and some of those people you affect will have a greater opportunity to influence your progress.
The 4-box model for Stakeholder Analysis
In a previous article, we evaluated customers to form a simplistic segmentation and approach. We’re going to perform a similar exercise for our approach to Stakeholders.
We plot each stakeholder (or stakeholder groups if the group is homogenous enough) against how interested they are in the change activity and how much influence they have over the change activity.
I’ve largely equated interest with impact in the following analysis, however some people may be greatly impacted by a change, but not that interested.
High Interest, High Influence
These are the most important to focus on. Spend time understanding the needs and concerns and what they are looking to achieve from your change activity. Keep these informed and see what mutual benefit can be achieved from their increased interest.
High Interest, Low Influence
Individually, these can consume a lot of time and effort. Pay attention to coalitions and cohorts forming together to acquire more influence.
Low Interest, High Influence
I’ve always thought of these as potential hazards since they still retain a large amount of influence. If they’re not interested and don’t feel positive or negative about the project, then there’s a higher chance of them shifting allegiance to competing strategies that are of more interest to them. Try to engage these and move them to the top-right quadrant.
Low Interest, Low Influence
Monitor what’s happening with this quadrant. Communications with this segment can be via automated, asynchronous channels, e.g. mailing lists, news articles, etc.