What Is It?
The stakeholder management tool is an extension of stakeholder analysis. At its base it identifies individuals and groups who will either be affected by a reform or change process or have the ability to impact, both positively and negatively, on the change process. This tool goes further, however, allowing some discussion and exploration of how each of the stakeholders could be "managed" and what capacities each of these stakeholders requires to institute governance reform.
Identify "opponents", "followers" and "enthusiasts", their power to influence, and their desired or required support.
- A graphical categorization of stakeholders and their ability to influence the process either positively or negatively. This representation can be a living document that is updated as the outcomes of the reform process become known and new stakeholders enter or leave the process.
- The start of assessing stakeholder capacities and identifying which weaknesses need to be strengthened and which strengths enhanced.
- Conducting a stakeholder analysis is a difficult task, as perceptions of power and influence, required support and reactions to change can be divisive issues. So care should be taken when conducting a stakeholder analysis or stakeholder management exercise with diverse and conflicting stakeholders. (If done in a participatory manner, ensure that there are like-minded stakeholders conducting the analysis.)
- Excluding key individuals from the process may lead to alienation and resistance, however.
- The results of the analysis will change depending on the issues being explored, the context in which the discussions are being held, and the participants in the analysis. So care also needs to be taken in presenting the results to a diverse group of stakeholders.
- Lastly any stakeholder analysis must be a continual process that evolves and is repeated throughout the life of the project. Otherwise new and important stakeholders might be ignored or the impacts on stakeholders not fully assessed.
- Stakeholder Analysis and 4Rs Analysis (Rights, Responsibilities, Returns and Relationships) are also useful and important tools if the complexity of the stakeholder management tool is too great.
Flip chart and marker pens.
Low to medium depending on the levels of connection between stakeholders.
- Identify and gather information on key stakeholders through interviews, surveys, observations and interviews.
- Be careful to protect any sensitive information you gather during the stakeholder analysis.
- Analyse the information gathered along four dimensions:
- Impact of Change: What will the impact be on the individual? (High, Medium, Low).
- Reaction to change: How will they react to change? (Opponent, Follower, Enthusiast).
- Level of Power and Influence: What is their power and influence? (High, Medium, Low).
- Desired Support: How important is their support? (Necessary, Desirable, Unnecessary).
- Present this information in the format illustrated below. Dimensions one and two are plotted on the matrix; symbols are used to illustrate three and four.
- In practice, the level of detail you go into will depend on the time and information available. A simple table plotting groupings of individuals and organisations with respect to the impact of change and their likely reaction can be a useful tool for initial analysis.
- The stakeholder analysis will enable you to categorise stakeholders, e.g. champion, sponsor or change agent.
- Develop a stakeholder management plan with activities such as leadership, coaching or mentoring for sponsors, project management skills and training for change agents, and facilitation skills for those seeking to achieve consensus.