Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Analysis is a way of identifying, prioritising and understanding your stakeholders.

What is it?

A stakeholder analysis is an interest/influence grid with four quadrants.  It enables you to plot or map stakeholders based on their level of interest (high/low) and level of influence (high/low).  Where you plot a stakeholder guides the actions you should take for involving and communicating with them.  The quadrants and how to manage them are:

Involve - high interest & high influence

Stakeholders in this quadrant will be actively involved in your project and be able to exert a significant influence on how it progresses. A lot of effort should be put in to making sure they are engaged. An example would be teams you are working with to develop and test changes.

Engage - high influence & low interest

These stakeholders will not want detailed communication, but because they can influence your project, enough work should be done to keep them satisfied. An example would be a senior sponsor who receives regular progress updates. Increasing their level of interest in the work could also be important for example if they can unlock resources or champion your work.

Keep engaged and involve where needed - high interest & low influence

Stakeholders in this quadrant will not be actively involved throughout your project but do want to hear about progress and may be able to provide input. They need to receive regular updates, but not so much they  are overwhelmed or lose interest.  An example would be teams who may be involved in the future but who are not yet actively involved who receive newsletters or social media updates. Service users may also be interested, and should be involved to make sure improvements are of benefit to them, so you may be working to increase their influence in the system.

Keep informed - low influence and low interest

These stakeholders will be part of your system and there may be the potential for your work to involve or concern them, so they should know what’s going on however do not bore them with excessive communication.  An example could be other services whose work is linked to your improvement project but has no impact on them.  If service users are in this category at the start you will likely need to make efforts to increase their interest and involve them in the work.

What does this tool look like?
Stakeholder Analysis framework
Why use this tool?

You can use Stakeholder Analysis to;

  • Identify who your stakeholders are; this is anyone who has interest in the improvement project or will be impacted by any changes
  • Use the opinions of your stakeholders to help define your improvement work at an early stage and gain their support
  • Guide the development of a communication plan for stakeholders to help them understand what the improvement work is about, to maintain and build further support for it where possible
  • Identify potential issues which could arise as the project develops, identifying ways to manage negative impacts.
Where does this tool fit in the improvement journey?

 

This tool is relevant at this stage of the Quality Improvement Journey

 

It is also relevant to this theme that supports your journey.

How to use it

Step 1: Identify your stakeholders

Start by brainstorming people who may be involved or affected by your improvement project and have influence or an interest in it’s success or otherwise.  Stakeholders can be people and organisations.  If it is organisations, make sure you identify the most appropriate person in the organisation to communicate with.

Step 2: Prioritise your stakeholders

Map your stakeholders onto the influence/interest grid, according to their level of influence and level of interest

Step 3: Understand your stakeholders

It’s essential to understand how stakeholders think and feel about your project.  It will determine the best way to engage, communicate and win them over.  This can be done by meeting with them and asking questions such as:

  • What is their opinion of the work?
  • What motivates them?
  • What interest do they have in the outcome of work? (is it positive/negative)
  • If they aren’t positive, what would it take for them to become so?
  • What information would they like and how would they like it communicated?

Step 4: Plan your communications

Link to topic page and downloadable communication plan template

Key Points

As your project progresses, regularly review the stakeholder analysis to move, add or remove stakeholders as more and more people may be affected. 

As the stakeholder analysis changes, ensure the communications plan is also reviewed and amended.

Resource to download