Stakeholder analysis is a formal way of capturing and documenting the level of engagement of key stakeholders. The scope and complexity of the analysis required depends on the scope and complexity of the change you are trying to implement.
A very simple stakeholder analysis would include at least the following data elements with a High/Medium/Low ranking for each stakeholder:
- Level of support needed
- Level of support demonstrated
- Level of interaction with the project team
The delta between these measurements should drive your change management and communications efforts. For example, a stakeholder who isn't supportive of your project but from whom you don't need a high level of support to be successful should not be your highest priority for change management efforts. However, if you have a stakeholder whose support is critical to your success and your project team has yet to engage him/her that will be a higher priority in your change management efforts. This may seem obvious however, it may not be obvious to everyone on your project team. Documenting even those that seem "obvious" facilitates a structured approach to your change management efforts and ensures that everyone on the project team is aligned with regard to stakeholders. Once you pinpoint the specific individuals that are the highest priority, you can develop stakeholder action plans tailored to the individual stakeholder's concerns and communication preferences.