What is Stakeholder Analysis, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Stakeholder Analysis
A Stakeholder Analysis is a strategy used to identify the individuals in your organization who will and will not support your change efforts. In addition, a stakeholder analysis allows your team to determine how to treat these individuals, and what actions to take with them during the change process. This analysis is useful to ensure that your change management program can be implemented successfully sine these actions help minimize resistance to change.
Description of Stakeholder Analysis
Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis has various benefits:
- Improve change project quality. Use the input from stakeholders early in the process of development a change management plan in order to create a more well-crafted plan that has a higher likelihood to garner stakeholder support.
- Gain resources. Identifying the most influential stakeholders provides your team with information regarding who has the most resources (e.g., time, money, talent) to draw on to help implement the change.
- Create Awareness of the Change Project. A stakeholder analysis requires that your team regularly speaks with relevant stakeholders. These conversations help improve the recognition of the change initiative and the knowledge of its benefits.
- Proactively manage change resistance. Identifying the detractors of the change project early in the process allows your team to plan for managing their opposition in advance.
Executing a Stakeholder Analysis generally requires three steps:
- Identify stakeholders: Create a list of any relevant party who might have a vested interest in your change project. This list should also include anyone who is affected by the change program and can assist or hinder its success. Some prominent examples include supervisors, colleagues, clients, shareholders, suppliers, government agencies, and the larger community.
- Classify stakeholders: Classify the listed stakeholders according to their level of power and the amount of interest they have in the project to determine where to focus your efforts and why. This categorization is best accomplished using a power/interest grid, a 2 x 2 framework that divides organizational stakeholders into categories according to how much influence they have (low or high) and how concerned they are with the change project (low or high). Each category is associated with the action you should take regarding each group of stakeholders.
- Those who are high in both power and interest should be closely monitored. You team should engage these stakeholders the most in the change project by soliciting feedback and consistently sharing updates.
- Those who are high in power but low in interest should be made as happy as possible with the change. They do not need to be heavily involved, but your team should make sure they are informed enough during the change process that they remain satisfied.
- Stakeholders high in interest but low in power will be highly attuned to the details of the change program. Therefore, they should be engaged as their inputs can be utilized to make sure there are no small mistakes in the change program that might inhibit full support.
- Finally, those who are low in both interest and power should be informed sporadically and with less effort than other stakeholders.
- Gain Additional Stakeholder Insight: Get to know your stakeholders to understand their attitude toward the change project. This can be accomplished through surveys or, ideally, through direct interviews. Stakeholder interviews should focus on what financial or emotional stakes they have in the project, who influences their attitudes, their feedback on your plan so far, what information they use to develop their opinion of the plan, and how to best manage their critiques of the change. With this information, color code the power/influence grid according to which stakeholders will support and which will oppose the change initiative.
Tools & Templates
The elements of a Stakeholder Analysis can be created using documents, presentations, spreadsheets, a whiteboard or online tools.
upBOARD's Online Stakeholder Analysis Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Stakeholder Analysis techniques, upBOARD’s online Stakeholder Analysis collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other change management best practice tools and templates, including:
ADKAR Change Management Model, AIM Accelerated Implementation Methodology, Beckhard & Harris Change Process, Boston Consulting Group Change Delta, Bridges’ Leading Transition Model, Burning Platform, Change Management Impact Analysis, Change Management Maturity Model, Change Management Plan, Change Management Roadmap, Change Readiness Assessment, Change Resistance Management Plan, Change Risk Assessment, Communications Planning, Deming Change Cycle, Focus Groups, GE Change Acceleration Process, Go-Live Planning, Head, Heart and Hands Model, Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, Kubler Ross Change Curve, Lewin’s Change Management Model, Nudge Change Model, People Centered Implementation, Performance Support, Process Mapping, Prosci Change Management Levers, Sponsor Roadmap, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Interviews, Switch Change Framework, User Acceptance Testing, VRIO Framework and What’s In It For Me (WIIFMs).