Technique: Stakeholder Support-Opposition Matrix

Why use this technique?

This technique is especially useful to develop winning stakeholder coalitions. These coalitions are very important: they secure adoption of a preferred solutions. They also protect the solution adoption process during implementation.

This technique classifies stakeholders based on their support or opposition towards the project and its output. It allocates the stakeholders to one of the categories:

  • high support
  • low support
  • high influence (or power)
  • low influence (or power)

How to use it?

Step 1: Identify stakeholders. Here you can find some useful techniques that can help you with that.

Step 2: Draw a two dimensional-matrix, see an example below:

OS-Matrix

Step 3. Classify stakeholders as a “supporters” and “opponents” against the “power/influence” they have over your initiative and its output. “Power/influece” is categorised in “high” or “low”.

Usage tips:
  • The facilitation process is the key to the successful conclusion.
  • Common mistake is to draw stakeholders where they should be, or perhaps where a business analyst would  like them to be, instead of illustrating the real situation. Therefore it is better to perform this analysis in a team, to create a more objective view of the situation.
  • This matrix is a kind of variation of the power/interest matrix, which does not cover stakeholders’ attitudes towards a project and its output. You can use stakeholders who you identified for the power/interest matrix in this technique.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages

  • Helps in creating coalitions for the project and the proposed solution.
  • Knowing the attitudes of stakeholders will allow you defining proper engagement approaches.

Disadvantages

  • Can be subjective,
  • To benefit must be performed on regular basis. Stakeholders are dynamic entities, which attitude changes over time. One analysis will give you insight, but when performed on regulaar basis will allow you to detect trends in behaviour.

Further reading:

More details on this technique can be found here: https://www.hhh.umn.edu/people/jmbryson/pdf/stakeholder_identification_analysis_techniques.pdf

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