Regardless of project size or budget there are only 4 types of stakeholders. In this blog post I will set out how to identify the four types and provide a free template that you can use for identifying your stakeholders.
It can be difficult particularly on large projects to manage project stakeholders. The stakeholders will often require different amounts of information in varying levels of detail. Therefore sending one email to all your stakeholders is not going to work. Some stakeholders will want more detailed information, some will want less. Also the frequency of your communication will not be enough for some and will be to frequent for others.
While it would be ideal to provide tailor made communication at the right frequency for each individual stakeholder it would be too time consuming to do. The most efficient way to communicate the right level of information at the right time is to put all your stakeholders into 4 groups.
To group your stakeholders you need to know only two things about each individual. The 1st thing you need to know is how much power each stakeholder will have over the project for example are they the project sponsor or are they a senior member of the organisation. I have found the easiest way to rank the power is to give each stakeholder a score between 1 and 10 with 10 being the most powerful.
The 2nd thing you need to know about your stakeholder is how interested they are in your project. For example are they someone who will benefit from the project and therefore very interested or are they someone who just needs to know that the project will not go over budget and therefore low in interest. As with what you have done with the power give each person an interest score between 1 and 10 with 10 being most interested.
To make this easy to do I have developed a template which will allow you to quickly group your stakeholders. On the template I have set up a drop down list for both power and interest. Simple enter the name of your stakeholder and select from the drop down list their power and interest. The template can be customized so you can change the drop down list.
Once you have added a stakeholder to the template they will be automatically plotted on a graph. This is helpful as at a glance you can see who needs what type of communication.
The 4 Types of Stakeholders
High Power and Interested People
High Power and Less Interested People
Low Power and Interested People
Low Power and Less Interested People
From next week I dive into more detail about each group and provide examples and templates for communicating to each group.
What do you think about these 4 groups? Do you know which group each of your stakeholders fall into?
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