BPM Stakeholder Analysis

This stakeholder analysis technique is presented in Business Process Management Practical Guidelines to Successful Implementations, by John Jeston, and Johan Nelis. It is designed specifically for BPM projects which are hugely dependent on stakeholder buy-in to business process improvement if they are to be successful.

analyze Stakeholders for Business Process Management (BPM)

They rightly point out that a BPM project can have many individual stakeholders. For example even on a small BPM project the following groups may need to be considered and can amount to many stakeholders.

Internal stakeholder groups

  • Staff
  • Management
  • Finance
  • Facilities management
  • Compliance
  • Etc....

External Stakeholder groups

  • Clients
  • Intermediaries
  • Partners
  • Vendors
  • Etc....
Communicating and engaging with everyone in these grouping won't be necessary or cost effective so the next step is to use a three simple tools to quickly analyze the stakeholders and identify individuals or groups who should be engaged with.

Individual Stakeholder Analysis

John Jeston, and Johan Nelis suggest that the stakeholders are reviewed against the following criteria:
  • Stakeholder type or group and Name
  • Power today – the source of their power, and their relative strength
  • Power after implementation of project – the source of their power, and their relative strength
  • Ability to influence project and other stakeholders
  • View of project (interest level)
  • WIIFM – What's in it for the stakeholder?
The results are documented on a register.
BPM stakeholder register
Jeston and Nelis use two matrices for further BPM stakeholder analysis.
  1. Ability to impact the project and View of project, and
  2. Enthusiasm for project and Commitment to project

Ability to impact the project and View of project

The first matrix maps stakeholders ability to impact the project against their view of the project. A grid is used with view of the project from negative to positive mapped on the x axis. Ability to impact the project sits on the y axis and is rated from high to low.
BPM stakeholder analysis matrix
Once stakeholders are mapped onto the grid it will quickly become apparent where effort should be expended in engaging and influencing. The goal being to influence stakeholders so that their view of the project can be more positive or their impact on the project can be reduced or increased.

Jeston and Nelis don't attempt to label the four categories in the grid, but it might be helpful to add labels to for example:
  • Ability to impact – High. View of project – Positive = Champions/key players
  • Ability to impact – High. View of project – Low = Saboteur – these are stakeholders who could derail the project.
  • Ability to impact – Low. View of project – High = Cheerleaders.
  • Ability to impact – Low. View of project – Low = Heckler. Stakeholders who while negative are not influential. They could influence a Saboteur or be used to support a Saboteur's negativity or reduce the positivity of Cheerleaders so they shouldn't be ignored.
The stakeholder map is not fixed. Stakeholders may develop a view or change their view during the project so the mapping process should be revisited throughout the project and the map updated.

Enthusiasm for project and Commitment to project

The second matrix maps enthusiasm for the project against commitment to the project on an 8 x 8 grid. Jeston and Nelis suggest that while similar the second matrix provides subtle differences which are useful to explore, and will help with creating a stakeholder engagement plan.
bpm stakeholder analysis matrix 8x8
I am not convinced of the benefits of using this matrix because the enthusiasm vs commitment scales seem flawed. For example I can't see a scenario in which a stakeholder could fall in the top left box and thus be actively supporting the project but also have low commitment and be actively against the project. That said I do see the following groupings as useful for planning an engagement strategy:
  • Stakeholder looking for ways to align their objectives to project objectives
  • Don't actively support project unless told to
  • Easily persuaded to support project.
For Business Process Management projects I would recommend adding influence lines to the project impact and view analysis this will give insights into which stakeholders could be engaged to positively influence negative stakeholders, particularly the most dangerous stakeholder group those with the a high ability to impact the project and a negative view of the project - the Saboteurs.

References and further reading on BPM stakeholder analysis

Jeston, J. and Nelis, J. (2008) Business Project Management, Butterworth-Heinemann. pgs, 271 - 276.

Overview of BPM - this Business Process Management explains what BPM is and the BPM lifecycle.

Search and filter all BPM notation

BPM stakeholder list