In the movie Band Baja Baaraat, a wedding planning business is built from scratch, with the protagonists collaborating with caterers, musicians and flower sellers, among others.

The film is a good example of what successful stakeholder engagement looks like. The wedding planners effectively identified their stakeholders. This process of identification and prioritization is also known as stakeholder analysis. Let’s explore the concept in detail.

What Is Stakeholder Analysis?

Before we fast forward to stakeholder analysis, let’s understand who a stakeholder is. A stakeholder is an individual or group of people interested and involved in any decision or activity of an organization. Employees, vendors, project manager, investors and customers are examples of common stakeholders in any business.

At its simplest, stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying and prioritizing stakeholders before a project begins. It includes grouping them according to their levels of participation, influence and interest in a project. Effective stakeholder analysis helps you determine how best to communicate and involve every stakeholder for the entire duration of a project.

Importance Of Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis is vital for the success of every organization, program and project. Here are some of the key benefits of this process.

  1. Identifies key players

By approaching valuable stakeholders or influencers, you can leverage their knowledge and guide your project to a successful outcome. Stakeholder analysis can help you identify key players who will support your project.

  1. Gains early alignment on goals

When you recognize every key player in the business ecosystem, you’re able to bring them together and communicate the project’s strategic goals and plans. When everyone is on the same page regarding expectations and responsibilities, the process becomes unchallenging.

  1. Addresses conflicts early on

Effective stakeholder analysis helps you identify and communicate with the most important stakeholders. You’re likely to involve and update them about your project’s progress every step of the way. This helps navigate differences because everyone is looped in.

What Is Stakeholder Mapping?

Stakeholder mapping is the process of creating a visual map of all the stakeholders involved in a product, project or idea. When you map the stakeholders, it helps in managing their expectations more efficiently. Engaging with key stakeholders helps you gather valuable insights that drive successful project outcomes. Stakeholder mapping is done by considering two essential factors.

  • Level of influence: 

A stakeholder has the power of setting and modifying project requirements.

  • Level of interest: 

A stakeholder is affected by the project’s outcome but doesn’t exercise any power over the requirements.

Let’s look at this simple example of stakeholder mapping to understand the concept better.

Once you decide to launch a product, you’ll need engineers, investors and customers to develop, invest and use your product. An investor will have the maximum influence before they’re providing capital. You’ll involve and engage with them the most because they’ll be providing foundational support.

Stakeholder Mapping Techniques

Stakeholder analysis uses stakeholder mapping to prioritize key players. Here are a few effective strategies that will help you map stakeholders successfully:

  1. List The Stakeholders

Map out everyone who is affected by your project—individuals, special interest groups, communities or organizations. Differentiate between those who are affected by the project and those who contribute to it. For example, a product manager and its team are contributors and end-users are affected by it. This clear classification helps you stay on track as you avoid confusion.

  1. Analyze The Stakeholders

Understanding the level of influence and interest each stakeholder has will allow you to predict how someone may impact a project’s success. Identify priority stakeholders—those who have greater authority to block or advance a project’s progress. You can further map the roles and expectations of individual stakeholders.

  1. Prioritize The Stakeholders

Once you’ve listed and analyzed every stakeholder’s importance, you can begin prioritizing them. The influence and impact of a stakeholder are dynamic and change according to the changing needs of a project. You can measure their influence through this simple ranking scale:

  • High: 

Has significant power to influence decisions, timeframes and outcomes.

  • Medium: 

Has a significant interest in a project but not high levels of power to influence major changes.

  • Low: 

Has very little influence and ability to change project outcomes.

  1. Engage The Stakeholders

Understand what resources and details will be needed for stakeholders to understand your project. Loop them when needed and update everyone regularly. Stakeholders will feel engaged and valued if they’re aware of being listened to. Have an effective system in place that’ll help you review and improve your stakeholder engagement strategies.

Conclusion

Projects require participation, guidance and approval from a wide range of people across the organization. Harappa Education’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you how to understand your workplace culture and navigate professional relationships better. The Stakeholder Map, in particular, will help you identify decision-makers and powerful influencers. Good relationships and communication are the cornerstones of successful stakeholder engagement. Understand them before you engage with them.


Explore topics such as Stakeholder ManagementTypes of StakeholdersWhat is AccountabilityTypes of Accountability & Difference Between Accountability and Responsibility from our Harappa Diaries section and engage with stakeholders effectively.

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