When we are planning the project, a crucial step is the stakeholder analysis. Why?
Because by identifying all the project stakeholders, their interests, expectations and needs, we provide the project with congruence and coherence, increase the probability of receiving support and reduce opposition.
Stakeholder analysis in the logical framework methodology is the subject of today’s Ingenio Empresa.
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What is stakeholder analysis
Stakeholder analysis is the identification of project stakeholders, which includes the research and interpretation of their needs, expectations and interests.
In this analysis, in addition to identifying them, we define their role, participation and impact. We do this in order to create strategies that will benefit the project and ensure its continuity and subsequent success.
Generally, project stakeholders fall into the following groups:
- Implementers / executors
- Decision makers
How to do the stakeholder analysis
Step 1: Defining stakeholders
Identify the project stakeholders. In the example we have tried to be very simple in order to facilitate the understanding of the methodology. Consequently, there are very few of them.
However, in more complex projects and usually in government projects, the stakeholders can be many. When it is possible for you to make sets of stakeholders based on a common characteristic, do so. For example, stakeholders such as universities, colleges and institutes can be classified under a category such as “Educational”.
Another good way to classify them is to take the previously mentioned groups: who falls into the group of beneficiaries (the target group), who finances the project, etc.
Step 2: Characterizing the stakeholders
With a 4-column table, we are going to characterize each stakeholder.
In groups locate those involved. Populations, public and private organizations, political groups, sectors of the civil society, etc.
In the next column place the interests of those involved with the project. Ask yourself the following question, what could they expect from the project?
In the third column, perceived problems, place the negative aspects or effects generated by those involved in the project problem. How is the problem affecting them? It is important that you put yourself in the stakeholder’s shoes and not from your perspective.
A common mistake in this column is to place the perceived problem with what you believe could be a solution to the problem situation. Remember, at this stage we are not yet thinking about solutions.
Also remember not to mention the perceived problems as a solution or the absence of something. Instead, determine the effect or impact generated by the problem. For example, avoid saying that there are not enough schools in the area. It is better to state the impact generated by this situation: Deficiency in the educational system of the area.
Mandates and resources: Define mandates as the formal authority of a group of stakeholders to fulfill a function in the project. For example, a government decree or the signing of a contract by a company. By resources we mean what groups can place at the disposal of the project or against it. For example, the money of an NGO in favor of one project and the demand of a community against another.
It is important that this table is kept up to date. During project planning and implementation, the situation of the stakeholders – their needs, expectations and interests – may change.
Step 3: Assessing stakeholders (optional)
Although we can already define strategies with the stakeholders in step 2, step 3 will guide us as to the type of strategy to have.
There are several classifications of stakeholders.
Which to use? Depending on the nature of the project, they will be more or less useful. The most common is usually the power-interest model, but organizations such as ECLAC (Spanish acronym is CEPAL) recommend the expectation-force model in their presentations. You evaluate which is the most appropriate for your project. In fact, you may need to use two or more models.
The assessment is done by assigning a score to each group on a scale you consider, for example from 1 to 5. Based on the quadrant on which the stakeholder group is placed, you can think about a strategy.
Step 4: Establishing strategies
Influenced by the results of step 3, we define the strategies with the stakeholder.
It is important to note that the strategies should not represent activities in the project, since we have not even defined the solutions. However, they are a significant input to define the levels of objectives (goal, purpose, components and activities). Therefore, in previous steps the information from the stakeholder analysis is vital for directing the project.
How to do the stakeholder analysis
Let’s recall the context of the example:
Colusa Inc is a web hosting company. In the last semester it has been presenting a 35% increase in complaints and claims from its customers. Colusa Inc made a classification of the reasons for the complaints by analyzing their frequency. In addition to this, telephone and e-mail interviews were conducted with customers who had reported complaints, which allowed us to further refine the classification.
In the first step we defined who the stakeholders are.
- Customers: They buy our product and use it.
- Suppliers: Their service is necessary for the continuity of the company.
- Allied consultants: Trainers
- Company personnel: Company personnel, from manager to assistants.
Next step, we characterize those involved:
In the third step we do the valuation. I consider the valuation as an optional step that is taken as it becomes necessary depending on the difference between the groups involved. For this example it will not be done, as this is necessary with more complex projects and this being the case of a private company, it is not so necessary. Could we do it? Yes, we could. But it is not necessary, the analysis in step 2 is enough.
Finally, the strategy with the stakeholders:
With this, we are ready for the next step in the project: The problem tree.
Image source: The header image of the post is from: Freepik