Winning support for your projects
by Rachel Thompson
"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."
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:
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.
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: