STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS, MAPPING, & ASSESSMENT 


The Complete Guide to Stakeholder Analysis & Mapping in 2020-2021

A stakeholder analysis helps you identify which stakeholders are being impacted by a change project, where each stands on receptiveness to the change, and which ones can impact a change project the most.

This guide is designed for Project Managers, Change Management Practitioners, HR, Business Analysts, and anyone that needs to conduct an effective stakeholder analysis and mapping.

Stakeholder assessment is a critical component of effective business change management because it increases the success of your stakeholder engagement and management.

“As a Senior Change Management Consultant, I have delivered global transformations that impacted thousands of employees and customers across Intel, Apple, Capital One, Accenture, HSBC, Deloitte, and other firms. During my tenure, I have discovered that applying the stakeholder mapping and analysis best practices described below increases the success of change implementation by an additional 82% on average.”

Ogbe Airiodion
Senior Change Management Consultant


This free guide provides you with a step-by-step overview of everything you need to know for conducting and increasing the success of your stakeholder analysis, mapping, and assessment in 2020-2021, and involves how to identify the who, what, why, and when that is required for an effective stakeholder assessment.

Stakeholders can make or break a change management project depending upon whether they support or resist the change, and what influence they may have on other stakeholders. This makes stakeholder analysis and management one of the most important activities performed during the change management process.


Illustration: Sample Stakeholder Mapping Template

Stakeholder Mapping Template 1


First, What is Stakeholder Analysis?

Stakeholder analysis is a process used to identify key individuals that have a stake in a project, program, or transformation change. Stakeholder assessment involves identifying managers, business leaders, employees, and groups that will be impacted by a change initiative. The leaders and managers are often referred to as “key stakeholders.”


What is Stakeholder Mapping?

Stakeholder mapping is the process of mapping key stakeholders to the respective impacted organizations and entering the stakeholder information into a stakeholder analysis template. Stakeholder mapping ensures that stakeholders and sponsors are identified across groups that will be impacted by a change.

In the sections below, we provide an overview of the best stakeholder analysis processes for assessing and mapping stakeholder groups.

AGS Stakeholder Analysis & Assessment


Stakeholder Analysis Process: Key Steps


(1) Process for Identifying Key Stakeholders

When starting out your stakeholder analysis, your first step will be spent in gathering your list of key stakeholders. This list will include managers, senior managers, business leaders, and executives that have or might have a stake in the business or technology change.

The difference between a key stakeholder and another stakeholder (non-key) is that a key stakeholder will have more influence over the project. This may be because they’re a manager and their team will follow their lead in regards to the change. Or they may be an executive that can impact the budget and timeline of the change project.

This comprehensive list of project critical stakeholders is often referred to as the “Universal List of Key Stakeholders.”

Follow the list of tasks outlined below when gathering your Universe List of Key Stakeholders:

  1. Work with the project team, program managers, and the primary sponsors to identify stakeholders that can be added to your stakeholder matrix
  2. Review organizational charts to identify key managers to add to your list
  3. Conduct a change impact assessment to identify which groups are impacted. After identifying impacted groups, the next step will be to identify the managers for those groups that can be added to your list
  4. Work with subject matter experts and managers within impacted organizations to identify other key individuals that should be added to the project management stakeholder matrix
  5. Review the project charter, statement of work, and any other documentation to identify any additional stakeholder that you can add to your list

(2) Identify Other Project Stakeholders

Next, you’ll want to identify other project stakeholders that may not have as much impact as “key” stakeholders, but still need to be assessed and managed because they are being impacted by the change.

These will typically be employees, but can also be vendors or customers, depending upon the type of change that is occurring. If customers are being impacted, it may be more appropriate to identify them as a group rather than individually in your stakeholder analysis.

It’s important to include all stakeholders because each plays a part in the success of a change project. For example, if the employees performing a specific process that is changing, don’t change how they perform that process, and revert to “the old way” of doing things, then the change project will fail.


(3) Stakeholder Mapping Matrix

Before or when completing the stakeholder assessment tasks above, you will want to develop your stakeholder analysis mapping template.

You can create this stakeholder mapping template by yourself from scratch based on the information presented on this page. In addition, or as an alternative to save a lot of time, you can use AGS’ #1 Best Stakeholder Mapping Tool. This tool includes simple-to-use stakeholder analysis samples, a best-in-class stakeholder mapping template, charts, and an advanced dashboard to help you easily track and manage project stakeholders.

Using your stakeholder assessment mapping template, you should document the following pieces of stakeholder analysis information:

  • Stakeholder types
  • Stakeholder first and last names
  • Stakeholder contact details
  • Stakeholder divisions, departments, and groups
  • How stakeholders feel about the change (level of resistance or support)

Illustration – 
AGS Stakeholder Assessment Matrix Template with Sample Data

Stakeholder Analysis

It’s important to document the current state that each stakeholder currently is at, as well as the future state where you need each one to be in relation to their support for the change project.

For example, is a particular stakeholder currently in support of the change, or is he/she resisting the change? The current level that a stakeholder is at-will drive your stakeholder engagement and management plan for that particular stakeholder.

Also, you will need to identify and map out each stakeholder’s ability to impact the project. This information will drive your engagement plan for each stakeholder. For example, if a stakeholder that can impact or halt a change is resisting the change, then you will need to implement a plan to gain that person’s buy-in or to at least bring them down from a high resisting level to a low resisting level. 

All of this information needs to be gathered as part of your stakeholder mapping and entered into your AGS Stakeholder Mapping Matrix Template

Illustration – 
AGS Stakeholder Current and Desired State Fields

Stakeholder Mapping Template 1

Get Your Copy of the AGS’ Stakeholder Analysis Mapping Tool

Using a stakeholder analysis template is very important because it allows you to effectively coordinate all aspects of your stakeholder mapping and assessment.

You can use AGS’ #1 Ranked Stakeholder Management ToolAGS Cloud to help. This tool is an online change manager that is designed to help you plan, manage, and execute a successful change project. Choose from a cloud or Excel version that includes real-time analytics and stakeholder assessment samples, as well as simplified templates for gathering your organizational stakeholder and key stakeholder information. 

AGS Cloud allows you to quickly segment your stakeholder groups based on their geographical location, and easily glean a holistic view of overall receptiveness to the project. Quickly see which stakeholders are resisting the business change, and which ones are strong advocates of the change.

AGS Cloud Stakeholder Management Tool

Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool


Why Stakeholder Mapping is Important

A stakeholder mapping assessment template allows you to document and determine each stakeholder’s level of commitment to the change (negative or positive), so you can effectively plan on how best to enlist their buy-in and support, or how to mitigate their resistance.

A stakeholder mapping matrix also allows you to identify impacted groups that have no key stakeholder leaders. Using this information, you can then engage program sponsors and other project stakeholders to help you solicit more support for those impacted groups that do not have any.

In most cases, we need stakeholders to help advocate for the project. Being an advocate involves wearing many hats including helping to reduce resistance, working with other senior executives to promote the program, helping to disseminate communications, and more. As such, we also need to assess each stakeholder’s change management knowledge and experience and include that information in a stakeholder mapping matrix. We will discuss this in more detail below.


(4) Additional Assessment of Your Identified Stakeholders

The next step for your stakeholder mapping and assessment exercise will involve assessing each stakeholder’s organizational change management competency. This needs to be performed and documented so that you can better understand which stakeholders need change coaching or additional support to help them be good sponsors of the change.

When conducting your stakeholder “support or resisting” and “change competency” assessments, you should meet with project managers, leads, and primary sponsors of the program to socialize the stakeholder matrix that you have developed, and ask them for information on which individuals on the list are known to support or resist the change program.

Also, ask if they have any information on each stakeholder’s change competency. Oftentimes they will not, and so you will need to conduct a touchpoint with each stakeholder to gather that first-hand information.

Enter the gathered information into your AGS Stakeholder Assessment Matrix and Template

stakeholder assessment matrix

The influence that a key stakeholder has on his or her employees and direct reports is immeasurable for reducing resistance and increasing end-user acceptance of the change, which is why change and program management practitioners need to implement an effective coaching strategy, as reviewed below.


Coach Key Stakeholders and Sponsors

Oftentimes, sponsors and key stakeholders have little to no experience with effective change management practices. Part of your role will then be to coach them in the best change practices. Learn more about coaching stakeholders, sponsors, and managers.

To be effective sponsors, key stakeholders need to understand how vital they are to the success of the change initiative, including understanding their role in helping with communications, resistance management, engagement, and reinforcing the change.

In coaching managers and supervisors to become effective managers of change, your change management coaching plan will need to apply a multi-step approach. Click here to see a detailed coaching plan strategy that you can leverage for coaching key stakeholders.


Engage and Manage Stakeholders

Click here to review a separate article that we published which covers the process for engaging and managing stakeholders.


Change Management Stakeholder Assessment Tool & Templates

When conducting your stakeholder analysis, it is imperative that you use a software, a stakeholder management tool, or a stakeholder management spreadsheet to document stakeholders, their impact levels, and their level of support or resistance for the change. 

The AGS Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool includes a best-in-class stakeholder management database templates, samples, a 360-degree analytics view of impacted groups, and much more that you can leverage to simplify and optimize your change management tasks.

AGS Cloud is a full-featured cloud platform to help you plan, manage, and execute a successful change project, end-to-end, whether this is your first change project or your one-hundredth. You can choose all nine modules in the tool or just choose the Stakeholder Management Tool. 

Click below to purchase this tool and for instant access that will allow you to get started right away.

AGS Cloud Stakeholder Management Tool

Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool

What is Stakeholder Analysis?

Stakeholder analysis is the process of assessing the stakeholders for a project or change. Stakeholder analysis is a critical component of effective project and change e management because it increases the success of your stakeholder engagement and management. Read more...

How do you perform a stakeholder analysis?

When starting out your stakeholder analysis, your first step will be spent in gathering your list of key stakeholders. This list will include managers, senior managers, business leaders, and executives that have or might have a stake in the business or technology change. Read more...

Why is a stakeholder analysis important?

A stakeholder analysis is very because allows you to document and determine each stakeholder’s level of commitment to the change (negative or positive), so you can effectively plan on how best to enlist their buy-in and support, or how to mitigate their resistance. Read more...

What is a stakeholder analysis matrix and how is it used?

A stakeholder analysis matrix is used to document information on stakeholders. It includes columns for documenting each stakeholder's level of commitment to the change (negative or positive), so you can effectively plan on how best to enlist their buy-in and support, or how to mitigate their resistance. Read more...

What are the roles and responsibilities of a stakeholder?

In most cases, we need stakeholders to help advocate for the project. Being an advocate involves wearing many hats including helping to reduce resistance, working with other senior executives to promote the program, helping to disseminate communications, and more. As such, we also need to assess each stakeholder’s change management knowledge and experience and include that information in a stakeholder mapping matrix. We will discuss this in more detail below.

What Are the Functions of a Stakeholder?

Stakeholders help advocate for a business change or project. Being an advocate involves wearing many hats including helping to reduce resistance, working with other senior executives to promote the program, helping to disseminate communications, and more.


Note: Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. If you have questions, comments, or tips about this Airiodion Global Services content or product, please contact Airiodion Global Services today.

External source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-sitting-in-front-of-table-1367275/ , https://pixabay.com/illustrations/organization-chart-efficiency-cost-1989202/, https://www.ls.graphics/free/free-pixel-4-and-pixelbook-go-mockup