Stakeholder SWOT

Using SWOT as a Stakeholder Analysis tool

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a tool most commonly used for strategic planning and risk assessment, but it is also a useful Stakeholder Analysis tool (get the stakeholder SWOT analysis template). In this scenario each stakeholder is assessed as follows:

  Questions to drive SWOT analysis
Strengths What are the Stakeholder's strengths? Could these strengths help the project or business? Could these strengths hinder the project?
Weaknesses What are the stakeholder's weaknesses? What are the stakeholder liabilities? Could these weaknessess help or hinder the project?
Opportunities What positive expertise, connections, influence does this stakeholder have? Could these be useful?
Threats What threats could the stakeholder bring to the project? Could the stakeholder put the project or business at risk? How can these threats be reduced?
A Stakeholder liability is a current obligation a stakeholder may have arising from past transactions or events this could be an obligation to your project, your organisation or to an outside body or group.

The results of the analysis should be documented and actions considered as part of your stakeholder engagement strategy.

SWOT example

SWOT template

This method is simple and quick to use. It is best completed as part of a team and should be focussed on a few key stakeholders. It may be particularly interesting for assessing those stakeholders who have high influence but low interest in your project or organisation. These stakeholders won't be the most visible, but they have the power to cause serious issues and they could also become your champions if you can increase their interest level.

For example a stakeholder that is influential with low interest may bring significant opportunities which can be identified through SWOT analysis and exploited by raising their interest level in the project or organisation.

On the other hand these stakeholders can represent a significant threat, for example regulatory authorities will present a threat if they identify compliance issues late on in a project. Planning Law in the UK must be complied with on construction projects. Planning Officers can stop work and even cause buildings to be demolished if construction starts before planning permission has been granted. For example see Farmer who built secret castle behind straw bales loses court bid to save it from demolition.

Stakeholder SWOT template

Use this free stakeholder SWOT template for analysing your key stakeholders. This template is in a mindmap format and can be completed collaboratively online.

Steps to download this template
Step 1 - Download stakeholder mindmaps .zip file to your computer. Extract all files

Step 2 - Create your Mindmeister account.

Step 3 - Import Stakeholder_SWOT_Analysis.mind
import mindmap to mindmeister

You can now edit and share your map freely!
There are six (6) other mindmaps in the zip folder which you are free to use. 23 bonus mindmaps are included with Stakeholder Management ebook.

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Stakeholder SWOT references and further reading

UNIFEM’s Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls, Stakeholder SWOT, [Accessed 18 July 2013].

Daily Mail,

Stakeholder Management Templates