A Stakeholder Matrix is a visual representation of the groups involved with a particular service, product or technology.
By representing staff, customers, partner organisations and other stakeholders in this way, the interplay between these various groups can be charted, analysed and easily referenced in the future.
Why is it used?
A Stakeholder Matrix provides a solid foundation for more in-depth stakeholder analysis. While not all projects require deep-analysis, this model provides a light-touch means of identifying important stakeholders to a project – sometimes parties that may not align directly with functional groups. The Personas tool can be used in conjunction to ensure all avenues have been explored.
Similarly, groups can be categorised according to their influence and interest, with previously neglected groups being reconsidered once the influence they exert on others is observed.
When is it helpful?
Stakeholder Matrix provides a light-touch approach for smaller projects and a good starting point for larger and more complex projects. It allows project teams to appreciate the influence of various stakeholders to a particular process, service or problem. This is turn can help prioritise engagement across projects.
How is it applied?
Firstly, a comprehensive list of stakeholders needs to be drawn up. Besides interviews, this will usually involve desk-based research – for handy methods, see the A Day In The Life, Shadowing, Contextual Interview, and Cultural Probes [EH2] Legal Meth cards. These methods highlight a stakeholder’s honest association with a process, service or problem. A reminder to sample a spectrum of stakeholders, including those that may not have an obvious stake. These are often missed and create the most angst later, because they were excluded. The message sent by that exclusion is almost impossible to reset.
Once all stakeholders are identified, place the names or/and groups on a 2×2 Influence vs. Interest grid; clearly identifying which stakeholders need to be Kept Informed, Managed Closely, Kept In-Mind, and have their Needs Met.
The location chosen on the graph is determined by the Level of interest of the Stakeholder has versus the power/influence the Stakeholder is perceived to hold (group or individual) – this is in relation to both the Firm and to the Project.
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