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31 July 2015

Two Steps toward Making Stakeholder Management Manageable

Two Steps toward Making Stakeholder Management Manageable

The materials I've found about Stakeholder Analysis have not explained much more than the PMBOK Guide explains. What grids other than the Power/Interest grid tell me remains a mystery.

However, I have found two hints that simplify the whole Stakeholder Identification (and Analysis) process.

Divide Stakeholder Analysis 

PMBOK 4 describes Stakeholder Analysis as a single Tool/Technique. I would split off the elicitation of information as a separate technique and call it Stakeholder Survey.

Use a form as you visit around the office eliciting detailed stakeholder information. Transfer that information to the Stakeholder Register at the end of the day. If you put the register on a server and can access it register through Wi-Fi, you can save on data entry time.

Fill in what you can before bothering stakeholders. Then verify that information and elicit the rest, as much as you can, face-to-face. For what remains, you can use a questionnaire.

Simplify through Progressive Elaboration 

Consider an analog in Risk Management: First, you use Qualitative Analysis to identify the key risks. Then you use Quantitative methods to analyze only the key risks.

Now, take these lessons from that model:
  • You don't need to perform full analyses for all stakeholders.
  • You need only a small subset of the information to start.
  • Decide what information you need in order to identify Key Stakeholders.
  • Use the Power/Interest grid to identify Key Stakeholders.
  • Collect further information and perform further analysis only on the Key Stakeholders.

Increase the degree of Stakeholder Analysis through progressive elaboration.

  1. First iteration: Key Stakeholders
  2. High Power/Low Interest stakeholders
  3. High Interest/Low Power stakeholders
  4. Low Interest/Low Power stakeholders

Remember, subsequent iterations should require less information and analysis.

This may be as much a delaying tactic as a simplification, which is what I really wanted. However, reducing, breaking up, and delaying the work relieves some of the stress of a potentially overwhelming process.

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