Basic Stakeholder Analysis Technique

Basic Stakeholder Analysis:
  1. Stakeholder expectations
  2. Quick Wins
  3. Long term issues/concerns
See also stakeholder analysis - power interest matrix and Stakeholder Salience

The Basic Stakeholder Analysis Technique is described in Bryson (1995: 71 -5). It is a great way to quickly assess stakeholder sentiment and can be used at the start and/or during a project or initiative. The analysis uses a simple traffic light classification to illustrate how a stakeholder feels the organisation or project is doing against their expectations.

For each stakeholder prepare a separate flip chart sheet and place the stakeholder’s name at the top. Then add a narrow column on the right hand side. In the left hand side list the criteria that the stakeholder would use to judge project success or list the stakeholder’s expectations of the project.

In the narrow right hand column use Red (poor), Amber (fair) and Green (good) dots to show how well the stakeholder feels the project is doing against each criteria. The flipcharts could be replaced with or written up into a table similar to the one shown below.

Once the stakeholder expectations are recorded Bryson suggests that the group consider and document what can be done to quickly please each stakeholder and also what long term issues they may have. To accommodate this the table could be modified as below.
Basic stakeholder analysis including quick wins and long term issues
Adapted Basic Stakeholder Analysis Model showing additional steps. Get this stakeholder analysis template

When to use the basic stakeholder analysis technique

This analysis technique works particularly well during the project lifecycle when it can be use to quickly assess project health, for example, as part of a project review at the end of a phase or stage gateway. Indeed Bryson describes how the technique was used to bring about major change in a state department in the United States, where it was used to show participants how existing strategies ignored important stakeholders.

Basic method vs Influence and Interest stakeholder analysis

This method can be used as your only analysis technique, but it ignores the relative power and interest of stakeholders so it could lead to inefficiencies if too much effort is expended on less influential groups. I recommend using this technique as a useful addition to the influence/power vs interest method. For example at the end of a key project phase or on achievement of a key milestone the project team could review the sentiment of the stakeholders with high power and high interest using the basic stakeholder analysis method (high power and high interest stakeholders are Key Players who have the power to sabotage or champion a project). If any stakeholder expectations are not being met (they are rated as red) the team can move fast by identifying quick wins, and then reviewing their stakeholder engagement plan and updating it to ensure any long term concerns are considered.

Stakeholder Analysis Resources

Stakeholder analysis templates in Word, Visio and Excel.

Stakeholder Management ebook

Stakeholder Analysis quadrant

BPM Stakeholder Analysis

Career Stakeholder Analysis

Happy Stakeholders - Pleasure and Displeasure List

Stakeholder Analysis Questions

Stakeholder Salience

Biblography- Basic Stakeholder Analysis Technique

Bryson, J. (2004) What to do When Stakeholders Matter: Stakeholder Identification and Analysis Techniques , Public Management Review, Vol 6 Issue 1: 29 - 30.
Stakeholder Management Templates