There are many ways to analyze and take the measure of your project stakeholders. One technique I particularly like is a stakeholder assessment grid. This team-based method allows you to identify and prioritize stakeholders and organizations for your projects prior to beginning detailed requirements definition. This allows the group to work together, visually represent the stakeholders, and assess the level of influence and involvement that individual stakeholders and stakeholder groups should have for your project. Information gleaned from this technique can be populated into a matrix worksheet or other tool for future use. It can also be used to build your stakeholder list defining roles and responsibilities.
Here are the basic steps you should use to identify and assess project stakeholders using a stakeholder grid:
When everyone is happy with the results, you should convert the stakeholder grid data to a matrix (perhaps in a spreadsheet) and assign numeric values to the matrix ratings to create a weighted scale. This allows you to build a prioritized ranking of your involved project stakeholders that can be used across the project life cycle. Don’t forget to revisit this list for each project phases (at a minimum) to make sure no new stakeholders appear for that phase. Keep an eye out for any existing stakeholders that change priority as the project life cycle progresses based upon the work that is being performed.
This technique works equally well for [project managers and business analysts on almost any type or size of project. Getting the project team to collaborate and other folks to participate in stakeholder identification and assessment results in a usable stakeholder list and a practical view of who the project team will be working with across the project life cycle.
Happy stakeholder analysis!