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Stakeholder Management

Power-Interest Matrix is not very informative

You need the right stakeholder overview to achieve support for your project. The Power-Interest matrix isn’t it.

The power-interest matrix (picture a) to score your stakeholders is not informative. It doesn’t answer the main question: Do enough stakeholders support our project?

So, our first need is to list supporters and opponents.

After that we add power and interest.

Comparison of stakeholder overviews

Picture b is more informative than a.

The power-interest matrix suggests to actively engage with the powerful stakeholders with high interest.

This depends on the total support for the project.

  • If the opposition is too stiff, then shelve the project.
  • If there is enough support, then make a strategy for each stakeholder.
  • If there is the possibility to gain more support, then make a strategy to convince neutrals or even some opponents.

To get a sense of total support, picture c is more informative.

In my experience, actively engaging with powerful opponents with high interest is hardly ever viable. They usually have a very good reason to be opposed. Monitor them closely, but spend your time on others.

The same goes for powerful supporters with high interest. Since they too have good reasons to support your project, ask them to help you gain support from others.

So essentially, your strategy depends on the overall support for your project. And you need the right overview to help you achieve it.