When it comes to any outcome you may want at work, in your career, or in life, all of the people who will be involved in some capacity are called your stakeholders. Learning how to understand and manage them is critical to your success.
The purpose of a stakeholder assessment is to identify all of the key people involved in whatever project you are doing, and to understand their role and current positioning. Once you under where they are, you can then create a specific strategy to increase their support of your project, identify areas of potential conflict that you can proactive address, or otherwise improve your odds of success.
Using the Tool
Desired Outcome: The first step is to document your desired outcome. Why are you creating a stakeholder assessment in the first place?
Once you understand what you are trying to achieve, you will identify four sets of information for each stakeholder:
- Name and Title/Role: Who are they and how are they involved in this effort?
- Relationship to Outcome: How does your project affect them. In particular, you will assess the level of interest to the individual, the level of influence they will have on the outcome and identify whether or not they are a decision maker
- Level of Commitment: You will then assess their current (“C”) and target (“T”) level of commitment to your success.
- Engagement Strategy: Lastly, you will identify a specific engagement strategy for interacting with them and getting their level of commitment up to the target level