Help - Stakeholder Prioritization
The relative importance of stakeholders is assessed by considering three Factors, their:
- Power - is their power to influence the project significant or relatively limited?
- Proximity - are they closely associated or relatively remote from the project?
- Urgency - what lengths are they prepared to go to, to achieve their outcomes?
The team rates each stakeholder (and documents reasons for these ratings) against the following scales:
- Power - 1(low) to 4(high)
- Proximity - 1(remote) to 4 (close)
- Urgency - Urgency is calculated by merging two separate components:
- The ‘Vested Stake’ the stakeholder has in the project, this may be financial, emotional or reputational. A high vested stake means the person or group has a lot to gain or lose based on the outcome of the project. The range is 1(low) to 5(high).
- The ‘Importance To’ the stakeholder of the project: some stakeholders may have very little vested stake in a project but perceive it to be of the utmost importance to them: conversely a stakeholder may have a very high vested stake (eg, $millions committed) but pay very little attention to the project. The level of ‘importance’ is assessed, based on how much effort the stakeholder is likely to expend to achieve its objectives (good or bad) for the project. The range is 1(low) to 5(high).
- The formula for the calculation of Urgency in the SIMS dB is based on the two inputs and the various combinations of values are set out in the ‘Urgency Matrix’. The resulting level of ‘urgency’ implies the need for action by the project team (this value is entered directly into the SWS Spreadsheet); the results are:
- 1 = There is little need for team action outside of routine communications
- 2 = Planned team action is warranted within the medium term
- 3 = Planned team action is warranted within a relatively short timeframe
- 4 = Urgent team action is warranted provided it can be accommodated within current commitments
- 5 = Immediate team action is warranted, irrespective of other work commitments
Stakeholder Index Value
Based on the data entered into the Stakeholder Circle, an ‘Index Value’ is calculated for each stakeholder – the higher the index, the more important the stakeholder. The factors considered in the calculation of the index are:
- The ratings for Power, Proximity and Urgency, as assessed by the team, are the primary input to the Index
- These values are weighted to adjust the relative importance of the three factors based on the culture and political environment the project operates within (see Adjust Index Weightings), the weighting can be adjusted as needed to fine tune the output
- The number of open issues against each stakeholder is used to adjust the index slightly (the more open issues the higher the index)
- Finally, if there are two or more stakeholders with an identical Index value, the ‘Priority Sorter’ can be used to sequence the stakeholders in the most appropriate order.
The prioritization of the stakeholders uses the Index values to arrange the stakeholders in order of importance and allocate a unique priority number. The higher the ‘Index’, the more important the stakeholder is at that time and consequently, the higher the priority.
The stakeholder with the highest index is accorded priority #1, the next highest index, priority #2, etc. Where a number of stakeholders have an identical index value and the ‘Priority Sorter’ has not been used the stakeholder entered first is accorded the higher priority.
Not all of the above features are available in the SWS Excel Spreadsheet or SoaP Word Template. For a summary of the features in each tool see: Tools Description
When ready, the list can be sorted and printed for checking before moving onto the 'engagement' phase of the analysis.
After adding, editing or changing these assessments it is necesary to re-calculate the priority index.
Visit the Methodology Page to read a summary of the overall Stakeholder Circle methodology.
SIMS dB Data Entry / Data Management
Stakeholder Prioritization List
Select ‘SH Prioritization’ from the Main Menu to see a list of all Active stakeholders created during the Stakeholder Identification phase. If there are none, you will be asked to create a new stakeholder.
The primary options are:
- Main Menu – returns to the Main Menu
- Help – opens the help screen (pop-up); close the help pop-up to continue working (Note, the database help screen links to additional information on the Stakeholder Circle web site).
- Show Active – (Default) shows all active stakeholders (does not show inactive)
- Show Inactive – shows any stakeholders that have been marked as ‘Inactive’
- Use the up / down arrows or vertical scroll bar to move between records.
The secondary options are:
- Sorts – The list may be sorted by:
- Number – this is a sequential number created by the system
- Name – a simple character based alphabetical sort
- Direction – U, O, S, D
- Internal External
- Priority #
- Print – Takes to a print option based on the current selection and sort order (see Print Reports) A summary or full report can be printed.
Entering and Editing Stakeholder Data
All data is entered via the ‘Edit Stakeholder’ screen
- Select the Prioritize Radio Button to change the more of operation of the database to Prioritization.
- Select ‘Edit’ to edit the specific stakeholder
Previously Entered Data - Data entered during the Identification phase is carried forward and can be edited or added to as needed. The fields already populated are:
- Stakeholder Name - This should be unique and easily understood by others using the system at a later date.
- Role – The stakeholders role relative to the project or within the performing organization
- Direction #1 - Select U, O, S or D – the text box adjacent to this field defines your choice. The ‘Direction’ sets the color used by the Stakeholder Circle diagram:
- Upwards = Orange
- Outwards = Blue
- Sidewards = Purple
- Downwards = Green
- Direction #2 - Select Internal or External – the text box adjacent to this field defines your choice. Internal / External sets the intensity of the color used by the Stakeholder Circle diagram:
- Internal = Dark tones
- External = Light tones
- Significance to the project - the stakeholder's 'stake'
- Importance to the project - defines what the project wants or needs from the stakeholder
- Requires from the project - defines what the stakeholder expects or requires from the project
- Notes & Comments – many of the decisions made during this and later processes will be subjective, the notes field should be used to annotate and record decisions to assist in further analysis and review at a later date.
- Stakeholder Active - This defaults to ‘Active’:
- If the stakeholder was involved with the project and has since ceased to be involved (eg a manager who has left the organization) set this field to ‘Inactive’. Inactive stakeholders are retained in the system for reference purposes but are excluded from all current reports.
- You cannot ‘delete’ a stakeholder, its data may form part of an ‘old’ stakeholder circle or by used for comparative purposes in an ‘Engagement Profile’.
Data Entry – Mandatory Prioritization Data
The data required to prioritize the stakeholders is:
- Power (rating of 1 low to 4 high) - defines the stakeholder’s ability to influence or change the project, the descriptions for each level are:
- 1 = This Stakeholder has a relatively low level of power (ie, cannot generally cause much change)
- 2 = This Stakeholder has significant informal capacity to cause change (eg, a supplier with input to design, unions in respect to working conditions)
- 3 = This Stakeholder has some capacity to formally instruct change (the key element is a formal right to be consulted or a right to approve elements of the design or works)
- 4 = This Stakeholder has a high capacity to formally instruct change (ie, can have the project stopped)
- Proximity (rating of 1 low to 4 high) - defines how closely associated the stakeholder is to the project. The descriptions for each level are:
- 1 = This Stakeholder is relatively remote from the project (ie, does not have direct involvement with the project processes; eg, shareholders)
- 2 = This Stakeholder is detached from the project but has regular contact with, or input to, the its processes (eg, clients and most senior managers)
- 3 = This Stakeholder is routinely working in the project (eg, part time members of the project team and external suppliers)
- 4 = This Stakeholder is directly working in the project (eg, full time team members and contractors working as a part of the team)
- Vested Stake (rating of 1 low to 5 high) - defines how much the stakeholder has to gain or lose based on the outcome of the project; the gain or loss may be financial, emotional or to the stakeholder’s reputation (or a combination). The descriptions for each level are:
- 1 = This Stakeholder’s vested stake in the project is very low - has very limited or no stake in project's outcome (eg, potential visitors to a new development)
- 2 = This Stakeholder’s vested stake in the project is low - is aware of project and has an indirect stake in project's outcome (eg, potential users of a new software system)
- 3 = This Stakeholder’s vested stake in the project is medium - has some direct stake in the outcome of the project (eg, suppliers)
- 4 = This Stakeholder’s vested stake in the project is high - sees its outcome as being an important benefit or threat (eg, senior managers involved in approving the project)
- 5 = This Stakeholder’s vested stake in the project is very high - has great personal stake in the project's outcome (eg, a vocal project champion or a committed client)
- Importance To (rating of 1 low to 5 high) - defines the level of importance the stakeholder attaches to the project based on how likely the stakeholder is to take action to achieve its desired project outcome (including project success, changes or cancellation). The descriptions for each level are:
- 1 = The project’s importance to this Stakeholder is very low - is unlikely to attempt to influence the project
- 2 = The project’s importance to this Stakeholder is low - has the potential to attempt to influence project
- 3 = The project’s importance to this Stakeholder is medium - may be prepared to make an effort to influence project
- 4 = The project’s importance to this Stakeholder is high - is likely to make a significant effort to influence project
- 5 = The project’s importance to this Stakeholder is very high - will go to almost any length to influence project
- Stakeholder Urgency (rating of 1 low to 5 high) is automatically calculated based on the values entered against ‘Vested Stake’ and ‘Importance To’.
- Stakeholder Index is automatically calculated based on the values entered.
If the team cannot agree on a value for any of these parameters, set the value to 1 (this is the lowest rating) the value can be edited at a later date when more information is available.
Using the Priority Sorter
If there are two or more stakeholders with an identical Index value, the ‘Priority Sorter’ can be used to sequence the stakeholders in the most appropriate order.
- Priority Sorter value #1 comes first, #2 second, etc. This should only be done after the first ‘prioritization’ of all stakeholders.
Data Entry - Navigation
On completion of the data entry /editing for one stakeholder, you may choose:
- Save – This returns you to the Stakeholder Identification List
- Cancel –Abandons the current set of changes
- Both of these options check to see all mandatory data is present. If you cannot determine the input needed for one of the fields either enter a ‘dummy’ value (it is easily changed later) or make the stakeholder ‘Inactive’.
- Previous / Next – Steps through the stakeholders in sequence.
- There is a check to see all mandatory data is present. If you cannot determine the input needed for one of the fields either enter 1 as a ‘dummy’ value (it’s easily changed later) or make the stakeholder ‘Inactive’.
Help (email only - 24 Hrs)
Help is available to all Stakeholder Circle users - we will attempt to answer your questions within a 24 hr period. To access help in the first instance email your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org