Stakeholder Analysis

Difficulty:  Moderate.
Audience:  People needing to better understand and involve stakeholders (eg, project managers).
Suggested Time:  20-60 minutes.

The Stakeholder Analysis can be used in a number of situations, including strategic planning, business planning, contract preparation, mediation, merger negotiations, etc.

It involves listing the organisation's stakeholders; identifying which of these are most important; and then closely examining the relationship the organisation has with these key stakeholders.

The first step is to create a mindmap of the stakeholders.
Example Stakeholder Mindmap
The second step is performed if you do not have the time or the inclination to closely examine all stakeholders.  In this case, you identify the most influential stakeholders from the mindmap.

The third step is to complete the Stakeholder Analysis table.
Example Stakeholder Analysis Table
You can complete this process alone or with a small group of key project people; or, for maximum impact, involve the stakeholders in completing the table.  They generally know best what they want, and how they might be involved.  Be careful not to over promise if you are using this tool early in a larger process.

You can choose what to label the columns in the table, depending on what you need to achieve.  I find the headings in the example above useful in many circumstances.