Stakeholder Analysis – The Power/Interest Grid

Whether you are working on a project, leading a team or trying to get a new idea past the board you will need to work with stakeholders.

Stakeholder management is a key skill of the modern day manager and is used to get people on board with your ideas.

Knowing who to get on board, who to approach and who to invest your energy in building strong relationships is where Stakeholder Analysis becomes useful.

Working with the right people means you can use their opinions and input to gain agreement from others. It can help you to get more resources for your project and other ideas.

Staying in touch with your stakeholders maintains relationships to ensure you get the support that you need for your ideas. You can gather feedback, tips and ideas from others making it easier to influence them.

To conduct a stakeholder analysis you will first need to understand who your stakeholders are. Once you have done that you can start to work out who the most important stakeholders are.

Think of internal and external people. Write them in a list. Capture their name and job titles. You might also want to think about links between them i.e. do they know each other and if so how.

Then prioritise them. To do this you can use a tool called The Power/Interest Grid.

Here’s what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 22.05.48

Here’s what is means and how to use it:

The grid used 2 axis – Power and Interest:

Power – How much influence do they have over your project/idea. Can the help to move it forward or could they stop it in its tracks

Interest – How much interest do they have in your project/idea? Will it be beneficial to them for example?

High Power/High Interest – You will need to fully engage with these people and make a great effort to satisfy them. Keep the relationship you have with them strong

High Power/Low Interest – Work here to keep these people satisfied, but not too much though – you don’t want them to become fed up of your message

Low Power/High Interest – Keep these people updated and in the loop. Talk to them about what’s going on in the business etc.

Low Power/Low Interest – Keep an eye on these people, but don’t annoy them with lots of un-necessary communication.

You will need to think about your stakeholders and learn about them.

Think about how your work, idea or project will will benefit them, what is important to them, what will they want to know and not want to know, how well do they currently know you (do you have credibility), what will they worry about, who else are they connected to.

Find out as much as you can as this will help with a strategy to build better relationships with them.

Relationships are the first steps in good influencing, but knowing who to invest time and energy in building good relationships with is the first part of that.

Want to know more? Check out our Training and Development Partner Revolution Learning and Development Ltd. They can help with workshops and courses that can help with Influencing, Commercial Awareness and Communication Skills.

RACI Matrix

If you are in a position where you need to delegate tasks to people or need to arrange resources around tasks then you can use a RACI matrix to help with this process.

The tool comes from project management, but can be used in other areas to.

RACI stands for:

Responsible – This is the person who will be made responsible for doing/carrying out the task. They can make the decisions on how to do it, but are responsible for delivering the right end result

Accountable – This is the person who holds the accountability for the task and is usually the person who delegated the task to the person responsible. They check the final outcome and sign off on it being done correctly

Consulted – This is a person who you bring into the task for advice, guidance or sign off. They usually don’t do the task, but are normally a subject matter expert or need to give their agreement and sign off that the task or an element of it is being done correctly

Informed – This person needs to be updated on progress or told when the task is completed. They may have a vested interest in the task or may be responsible for carrying out the next task.

You can turn this information into a matrix to help communicate the information more effectively. Here’s an example:

Here’s how to build it.

1. Make a list of all of the tasks required. Maybe this is all of the tasks in a project or all of the regular tasks you and your team need to complete on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and add these into the first column.

2. Either add the name of your team members across the top of the grid. If you have lots of team members then you can add RACI across the top.

3. Working your way down, complete the matrix based on who is responsible, accountable etc. If you used RACI across the top of the grid then add the persons name into the relevant box.

4. You need to ensure that someone is at least responsible and accountable for each task, but you don’t always need someone to be consulted or informed. If you as the manager are completing the task then you can make yourself responsible and accountable for the same task.

Once completed, all of those people who are responsible will need clear or SMART objectives for each task they are responsible for. You will also need to find a way to remind you when to bring in those that need to be consulted and when to communicate to those informed i.e. a communication plan or a note in your diary.