When the stakeholders are identified and agreed upon, the next step is to determine the attitudes of these stakeholders towards a project. Because the attitudes of the stakeholders can change during the project life cycle as well as people may change assignments during the project, the stakeholders analysis is an ongoing activity done throughout the whole project life cycle.
Based on results of the stakeholder analysis the business analyst can decide on how to:
- involve stakeholders in the requirements development process,
- communicate requirements and their changes to particular stakeholders/ stakeholder groups,
- resolve conflicts between stakeholders.
The involvement and proper communication with stakeholders are means to manage their expectations about the deliverables of the project as well as gaining their commitment to it. This is indispensable for its successful completion. Involving stakeholders from the early stages of the project gives them opportunity to express their ideas/issues/concerns over the project, early and this make them feel more involved in a project and also take more responsibility on their shoulders. As mentioned earlier after stakeholders are identified and analyzed, they also should be managed. Stakeholders management means that the results of the stakeholders analysis are periodically revised for its validity and updated accordingly. Thanks to the stakeholders management a project gains and maintains the commitment from its stakeholders. Jeff Berman in his excellent book “Maximizing Project Value: Defining, Managing and Measuring for Optimal Return” gives 7 tips how to manage stakeholders. These tips are based on best practices and summarize author’s experience in this field:
- Accept stakeholders as they are.
- Get key leadership involved.
- Involve your stakeholders early.
- Ensure confidentiality on sensitive issues.
- Plan how to deal with and respond to each stakeholder.
- Help the stakeholders identify “what’s in it for me.”
When we check the BA toolbox – techniques which men can use to analyze and manage stakeholders, here are some examples of useful techniques, which I will describe in the next posts:
- RACI matrix
- Stakeholder power/interest analysis
- Stakeholder map
- Power, Legitimacy and Urgency model
- Power-Dynamism matrix
Have comments, want to share something? I really appreciate any suggestions which help improving the content or readability of the presented techniques.