Stakeholder Analysis

Winning Support for Your Projects

Try this out in our Interactive Screen App!

In this video,
learn how to conduct a Stakeholder Analysis.

Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organization I have ever worked with. By engaging the right people in the right way in your project, you can make a big difference to its success... and to your career. – Rachel Thompson, Mind Tools.

As you become more successful in your career, the actions you take and the projects you run will affect more and more people. The more people you affect, the more likely it is that your actions will impact people who have power and influence over your projects. These people could be strong supporters of your work – or they could block it.

Stakeholder Management is an important discipline that successful people use to win support from others. It helps them ensure that their projects succeed where others fail.

Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have to be won over. You then use Stakeholder Planning to build the support that helps you succeed.

The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are that:

  • You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage. Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, their input can also improve the quality of your project
  • Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources – this makes it more likely that your projects will be successful
  • By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, you can ensure that they fully understand what you are doing and understand the benefits of your project – this means they can support you actively when necessary
  • You can anticipate what people's reaction to your project may be, and build into your plan the actions that will win people's support.

How to Use the Tool

The first step in Stakeholder Analysis is to identify who your stakeholders are. The next step is to work out their power, influence and interest, so you know who you should focus on. The final step is to develop a good understanding of the most important stakeholders so that you know how they are likely to respond, and so that you can work out how to win their support – you can record this analysis on a stakeholder map.

After you have used this tool and created a stakeholder map, you can use the stakeholder planning   tool to plan how you will communicate with each stakeholder.

The steps are explained in detail below:

Step 1 – Identify Your Stakeholders

The first step in your Stakeholder Analysis is to brainstorm   who your stakeholders are. As part of this, think of all the people who are affected by your work, who have influence or power over it, or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion.

The table below shows some of the people who might be stakeholders in your job or in your projects:

Your boss Shareholders Government
Senior executives Alliance partners Trades associations
Your coworkers Suppliers The press
Your team Lenders Interest groups
Customers Analysts The public
Prospective customers Future recruits The community
Your family    

Remember that although stakeholders may be both organizations and people, ultimately you must communicate with people. Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within a stakeholder organization.

Step 2 – Prioritize Your Stakeholders

You may now have a long list of people and organizations that are affected by your work. Some of these may have the power either to block or advance. Some may be interested in what you are doing, others may not care.

Map out your stakeholders on our Interactive Screen App, and classify them by their power over your work and by their interest in your work.

Figure1: Power/Interest Grid for Stakeholder Prioritization

Stakeholder Power-Interest Grid Diagram

For example, your boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. Your family may have high interest, but are unlikely to have power over it.

Someone's position on the grid shows you the actions you have to take with them:

  • High power, interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy.
  • High power, less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied, but not so much that they become bored with your message.
  • Low power, interested people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
  • Low power, less interested people: again, monitor these people, but do not bore them with excessive communication.

Step 3 – Understand Your Key Stakeholders

You now need to know more about your key stakeholders. You need to know how they are likely to feel about and react to your project. You also need to know how best to engage them in your project and how best to communicate with them.

Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are:

  • What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative?
  • What motivates them most of all?
  • What information do they want from you?
  • How do they want to receive information from you? What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
  • What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information?
  • Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you? Do some of these influencers therefore become important stakeholders in their own right?
  • If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
  • If you don't think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
  • Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?

A very good way of answering these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly – people are often quite open about their views, and asking people's opinions is often the first step in building a successful relationship with them.

You can summarize the understanding you have gained on the stakeholder map, so that you can easily see which stakeholders are expected to be blockers or critics, and which stakeholders are likely to be advocates and supporters or your project. A good way of doing this is by color coding: showing advocates and supporters in green, blockers and critics in red, and others who are neutral in orange.

Figure 2: Example Power/Interest Grid With Stakeholders Marked

Example Stakeholder Power/Interest Grid


Figure 2 shows an example of this – in this example, you can see that a lot of effort needs to be put into persuading Piers and Michael of the benefits of the project – Janet and Amanda also need to managed well as powerful supporters.


You can create your own example of Stakeholder Analysis at work – whether for your current role, a job you want to do, or a new project.

Conduct a full stakeholder analysis. Ask yourself whether you are communicating as effectively as you should be with your stakeholders. What actions can you take to get more from your supporters or win over your critics?

Add your stakeholders to our free Interactive Screen App below. You can move your stakeholders around, or change their color, depending on what your full analysis reveals.


Key Points

As the work you do and the projects you run become more important, you will affect more and more people. Some of these people have the power to undermine your projects and your position. Others may be strong supporters of your work.

Stakeholder Management is the process by which you identify your key stakeholders and win their support. Stakeholder Analysis is the first stage of this, where you identify and start to understand your most important stakeholders.

The first stage of this is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. The next step is to prioritize them by power and interest, and to plot this on a Power/Interest grid. The final stage is to get an understanding of what motivates your stakeholders and how you need to win them around.

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Comments (13)
  • aeryn wrote This month
    As an Director, stakeholder management is crucial. this is a lovely simple tool to visualize and think it through.
  • ryebreadhead wrote Over a month ago
    can someone provide examples of people on the power grid?
  • Yasmin wrote Over a month ago
    Hello, I am a student nurse and have found your example power/interest grid really helpful for my dissertation. Do you know which year this page was first published please? This is just so that I can reference it.
  • Michele wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Konstantinos,

    I agree! Stakeholder analysis is the first activity I undertake when beginning a project or facilitating a meeting of cross-functional groups.

    Mind Tools Club
  • Konstantinos wrote Over a month ago
    What a great tool is the Power/Interest grid to plot my analysis. Highly recommended as well as the stakeholder analysis matrix can be used simultaneously. Brainstorming and using the interactive platform gives a quite clear understanding of the inter-relations a company needs to create with its different stakeholders.

  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    You're welcome Elmindo! It's great to hear that you find the materials useful and we appreciate your participation over here.

    If you'd like to share more of your ideas or get help with any challenges you have, do hop over to the Career Cafe Central forum at . You're welcome to comment on existing topics over there or to post a new topic. Hope we see you there soon!

    Mind Tools Team
  • elmindog wrote Over a month ago
    The theme, Stakeholders analysis, I consider a priority in my work, after to study this excellent material that reinforced my knowledge on the subject...I would like to thank and congratulate the actor.... thanks a lot...

    Elmindo P Goncalves
  • Dianna wrote Over a month ago
    Hi Smarties10,
    Have you found our Bite Sized Training workbook on Stakeholder Management? He is the link: The last section is on stakeholder communication and it includes a long list of questions to help guide your communication planning process. I think it will help you.

    Another great resource is Yukl and Tracey's Influencers it's full of ideas on how to influence people and earn their support.

    I think the issue is very situational and depends on many social and environmental factors. What works for one person might not work for another. You will need an arsenal of tactics depending on who and what you are trying to influence. What is the immediate issue at hand? We might be able to make some more specific suggestions for you. Or at least help steer you in the right direction.

  • Smarties10 wrote Over a month ago
    I find this article very interesting as it deepens your knowledge on how stakeholders power can make or block the success of your project etc.
    At some point, it said ''Conduct a full stakeholder analysis. Ask yourself whether you are communicating as effectively as you should be with your stakeholders. What actions can you take to get more from your supporters or win over your critics?''
    Can anyone help with some ideas or experience pls?

  • snoopdogg wrote Over a month ago
    This is an excellent article about stakeholders and how they may influence your projects or your interests at work. I understand that it is very important to first understand who are the stakeholders at your workplace, how interested they are and how much power they have over what you are doing at your workplace. The article also mentions points out that we need to know what motivates them and accordingly create a stategy that will ensure that you gain their support or that your work goes smoothly. I would really appreciate it if someone can point point out, with suitable examples, how we can find out what what motivates our stakeholders and what can we do that can gain their support.


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