What is Stakeholder Analysis? - Definition & Methods

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  • 0:04 Stakeholder Analysis Defined
  • 0:50 Stakeholder Analysis…
  • 1:24 Stakeholder Analysis Methods
  • 3:12 Prioritizing, Learning…
  • 5:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Knowing who has an interest in your company helps improve your success. In this lesson we will learn how to identify those people and their power over the company and the company's projects.

Stakeholder Analysis Defined

A company doesn't operate without the help and input of numerous people. Those people are called stakeholders, and they can be anyone from owners, creditors, suppliers, employees, and even the community in which business is conducted. Stakeholders have an interest in the company, and they are the focus of stakeholder management.

Stakeholder management is the act of winning over the stakeholders so they support the company and continue to be a successful asset to both the company and any project the company is working on. But long before you can manage the stakeholders, you need to identify just who has an interest in your company or project, which is known as stakeholder analysis. In this lesson, we will learn the details of stakeholder analysis and just how to perform one.

Stakeholder Analysis First Step

Companies that are successful and complete successful projects know who the key players are that contribute to the company's success. Thus, the very first step in stakeholder analysis is identifying who the stakeholders actually are. This involves creating a list of everyone who is affected by the company and the project they are working on as well as anyone who can influence the project or company. Some examples of common stakeholders include:

  • Shareholders
  • Government
  • Suppliers
  • Lenders
  • Coworkers
  • Customers
  • The community
  • Executives

Stakeholder Analysis Methods

The process of knowing who your stakeholders are can be complicated. This is because many people can be involved and not all of them come to mind immediately. Let's look at some of the methods of identifying stakeholders.

1. Knowledge Based

One way to identify stakeholders is through research. Oftentimes subject matter experts are grouped together so they can discuss all of the people who have an interest in the project or the company.

2. Personal Experience

Sometimes the people working on the project have previous experience from other projects that can help them identify stakeholders. For example, they may have learned the hard way of who has interest in the company when they forgot about them in a previous project.

3. Interviews

Interviews help get questions answered. When you interview someone, you can find out what their involvement is and how they feel about the company or the project.

4. Agreements

Many times a company will have an agreement with another person or company. When a company makes an agreement with someone, that someone becomes a stakeholder. For example, when a company makes an agreement with a supplier for supplies, the supplier has power because if they do not deliver the supplies, projects might not get finished. The same can be true for a lender. The lender holds great power over a company and projects because they get to decide if they want to offer a loan.

5. Historical

We all know that history helps us better understand the future. If we know what happened in the past, we can use that information to better understand outcomes in the future. In addition, stakeholders that have been involved in past projects may be involved in current projects. A simple comparison of previous projects and current projects can help identify suppliers. A good point to remember also is that history can help not only identify who the stakeholder might be, but how much interest and power they have had previously in the company or their projects.

Prioritizing, Learning & Managing

Once you know who the stakeholders are, the next step is to prioritize them based on their involvement or power. Those that work for the company, like executives and coworkers, have high influence and power over the company and their projects. The community may have high interest, but they probably do not have high power over the company or project.

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