Stakeholders Analysis

UX professionals often work hard to convince stakeholders to support UX research and design efforts. Recognizing who your key stakeholders are and how they impact your work is the first step to building fruitful stakeholder relationships.

Have you ever had a stakeholder shut down your project or block UX design efforts? This frustrating situation may be avoided. A significant part of UX involves working with and alongside stakeholders. In organizations with low UX maturity, UX professionals must constantly evangelize to stakeholders about their work, why it matters, and why they should be allowed to continue doing it. Collaborating with stakeholders and inviting them to observe research is a good idea. Stakeholder analysis offers a structured approach to stakeholder management.

Stakeholder analysis is particularly useful for UX professionals working on new projects with new stakeholders or for UX teams looking to improve their organization’s UX maturity by increasing their knowledge of (and adoption of) user-centered ways of working.

Who’s a Stakeholder?

A stakeholder is anyone interested in your project or with whom you need to work to complete it. Your CEO, the marketing director, the account manager, or even your manager could all be stakeholders. Stakeholders can be internal or external to the organization. If you’re unsure who your stakeholders are, start by asking yourself who is interested in your project and who has power, influence, or control over it.

Stakeholder analysis involves assessing each stakeholder’s potential to impact your project — negatively and positively!

Some of your stakeholders will have more impact than others, and different stakeholder-management strategies need to be applied to those influential stakeholders compared to those with little influence.

Stakeholder mapping is used to perform a stakeholder analysis. There are many ways to map stakeholders; one of the most popular mapping methods is the power­-interest matrix (often referred to as Mendelow’s Matrix, as the earliest version is attributed to the researcher Aubrey Mendelow).