- Title page
- Executive Summary
- Module 1 - Why measure performance?
- Module 2 - Building an initial performance picture
- Module 3 - Engaging with stakeholders over measurement
- Module 4 - Defining outcomes, intermediate outcomes and outputs
- Module 5 - Developing measures and indicators
Undertaking stakeholder analysis: the key steps
Stakeholder analysis is a tool that is useful in several contexts. It is a crucial aspect of agency performance measurement, as it helps agencies to understand who their outputs, impacts and outcomes are shared with, and how. It therefore underpins collaborative approaches to measuring performance.
Stakeholder analysis can be conducted at any level in an agency and can be used internally and externally. It allows agencies to understand who their stakeholders are and the nature of the relationship with them. It also enables agencies to see how they need to work with their respective stakeholders, thus facilitating the development of strategies for engaging with stakeholders.
Stakeholder analysis can provide the user with the following benefits:
- providing the user with a holistic picture of their stakeholder environment;
- identifying types of stakeholders in the user's environment;
- identifying types of relationships between the user and stakeholder;
- enabling the development of a stakeholder engagement plan.
Stakeholder analysis clarifies the nature of relationships a specific group within your agency has with stakeholders by assessing the power and interest they have over the common goal you share. All stakeholders will have varying degrees of power and interest. Figure 6 outlines the basic dimensions of the power-interest relationship that the group will have with its stakeholders. It broadly demonstrates the level of effort and the nature of the relationship that will need to be maintained with stakeholders of each relationship type.
Figure 7 shows the stakeholder analysis process. This process allows you to identify how you should coordinate with each stakeholder, and which stakeholders should be given priority in the engagement plan.
There are four broad steps in the process. They are:
1. Define the shared goal: clearly define the shared outcome or shared output for the stakeholder group: what are you trying to achieve with the service you are delivering, with the policy you are developing or the project you are planning?
2. Define stakeholder group: list the broad stakeholder group for the goal(s) in question. Look internally and externally and cast the net as widely as possible. Consider only stakeholders who can influence progress towards the shared goal. Consider both those stakeholders within the State sector and outside of it.
3. Analyse the relationships: the analysis should cover a number of steps in order to provide a basis for developing the engagement plan. However, there are different approaches to the analysis, depending on resources available. The key aim of the analysis is to understand the nature of the relationships with each stakeholder, and to prioritise the engagement plan accordingly. The next section outlines the detailed steps and highlights which steps are essential, it also provides some examples.
4. Develop the engagement plan: the engagement plan should build on the information developed during step three. It should promote coordination by setting out how the stakeholders can work together. It should take into account the nature of the relationships between the user and the different stakeholders. The plan should:
- outline how to engage with each stakeholder to best achieve the shared outcome;
- focus on engaging the priority stakeholders and address how each will be engaged to gain the appropriate level of buy-in;
- take account of how the nature of some of the relationships may change over time;
- consider ways to deal with any particular sources of possible conflict or disagreement with more difficult stakeholders (e.g. having senior management backing);
- be linked to a wider strategy that pursues the achievement of the shared outcome:
- explore practical ways for managing these relationships, both formally and informally:
- Formal engagement. For example, the priority stakeholder may need to be brought into a formal steering group or working group so that their needs and concerns are addressed in a structured environment that establishes an audit trail of decisions made. In such an instance the stakeholder analysis should be used by the chair of the group to aid their relationship management.
- Informal engagement. It may also be useful to have informal, lower key meetings with some of the higher priority stakeholders in order to build a positive relationship with them and gain a clearer understanding of their perspective. Those of a lower priority should be kept informed of developments and mechanisms should be in place to do this such as regular e-mail updates, reports or briefings.
- be revisited and revised as events progress and dynamics change.