I want to know how to elaborate a stakeholder analysis (there's a lot of literature about this on internet, but I need real examples / references, something with a "hands-on touch"), and how can I use stakeholder analysis to understand and implement a map of conflicts / interests ?
Stakeholder analysis can get as sophisticated and detailed as you want to make it. There are practitioners that specialize in this and this effort can get quite exhaustive, time consuming, and expensive, but very valuable. Since you are new to the PM role and do not have experience with stakeholder analysis and management, you can design an effort that is high level, simple, but still effective.
The goal here is to segment your stakeholders into logical groupings based on similarities. These similarities could be based on job roles or levels in an organization but also with less obvious definitions such as "pro change" or "anti change" or even saboteurs. To keep it at a high level segmentation, break your stakeholder community into no more than five or six segments.
Your next step is to put individuals and groups of individuals into each segment. In order to do this, if the segment is not an obvious segment like job role, you need to interview them. You need to design your questions in such a way that you will discover into which segment they belong.
Once you have them segmented, then you need to figure out several things: 1) what communication to they need from you; 2) what communication do you need from them; 3) how do they want to participate in the project; 4) if the segment is more on the negative side, how do you manage them or margainalize them; 5) what kind of impacts--both positive and negative--will they experience.
Understand, too, that your segmentation is never final; you need to update and reupdate as you move along and as you learn more things about your stakeholder community.
Keep it simple and high level and you will be effective. You can become more sophisticated with this as you move along and as you learn about your stakeholders and you can easily modify your stakeholder management plan. It is not about getting it right the first time but getting it right over time.
Mapping stakeholder interests is an always-ongoing activity. It should never be complete, merely reviewed. Organisations revolve staff through Projects and Programmes constantly so stakeholder maps should be updated as often as required.
As a Project Manager, you will receive very little guidance about how to run your project and that level of autonomy can be disconcerting at first.
The most direct way to understand your stakeholders is to reach out to them directly and schedule a 1-to-1 with the individual. Frame the conversation as a coffee and simply ask the questions
What can this project do to better serve your business goals?
The act of engaging with people will naturally align them to your cause since the first casualty of corporate projects is always communication. By meeting with stakeholders on an informal, friendly basis you are defusing any tension they might feel about the impact from your project.
A blast map is a tool used to identify who will be positively and negatively impacted by your project. It is best to conduct this analysis in conjunction with a Business Analyst and/or the engineering team.
You will separate your stakeholders into 3 categories
- Those impact directly by your project
- Those impacted indirectly by your project
- Those who are not impacted but are interested in the outcome for additional reasons
For example, you are delivering a new sales reporting tool which will automatically generate a daily sales report from the data warehouse without manual intervention.
- John W is a junior analyst who previously produced the sales report in Excel. His job is now automated and he is directly impacted. He is unlikely to understand the project is underway until informed.
- Susan T is the Line Manager for all junior analysts in the Business Intelligence Centre. Her budget is $500K per annum to maintain 9 resources. It is likely her budget will be cut in the future. It is unlikely Susan will support the new project unless you can encourage her to re-skill her team into newly relevant skills since her empire will shrink.
- Donna R is part of internal audit and is interested in the impact of sales data with less errors being automated directly to senior management. She is possibly a champion of the project if engaged with correctly.
This model ultimately informs your communications plan and strategy. Who and how should you be engaging on your project progress. Who needs advance warning of impending business change and which channels will be used to prevent your success.
This canvas is adapted from the various derivative canvases drawn from the original Steve Blank Business Model Canvas. It is relatively self-explanatory and can be used to quickly collect your thoughts on individuals, business units and departments engaging with your project.
The Perspective Map is quick brainstorming technique to quickly plot Executives, Managers, Teams and Entities which are more supportive and less supportive of the business change you are try to affect.
It very quickly identifies your champions and detractors for engagement.