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This episode releases on all major podcast apps on September 6, 2023. Subscribe now, and never miss an episode.

Understanding and working with stakeholders effectively is critical to a successful project. It could mean the difference between success and failure. Effective stakeholder engagement can make our projects more effective, take less time, and use fewer resources.

In this episode, Rotarian Chris Hornberger talks about what stakeholders are, why they are important, and how to analyze them.

Learn more about this episode and the Rotary Project Manager at ⁠⁠⁠

#rotary #rotaryhalifaxharbour #rotaryprojectmanager #projectmanager #stakeholders

Music by ⁠⁠Evgeny_Bardyuzha⁠⁠ from ⁠⁠Pixabay⁠


More About This Episode

In this episode, Chris Hornberger and Thomas Paul discuss what a stakeholder is, why it is essential to recognize stakeholders, and how to analyze stakeholders. We also cover:

  • Why are stakeholders important for Rotary projects?
  • Chris' Rotary story.
  • What is a stakeholder?
  • Why is identifying stakeholders important?
  • How could project teams identify stakeholders?
  • Add value; don't overdo it.
  • What is stakeholder analysis?
  • What is stakeholder level of interest and influence?
  • What is a stakeholder analysis quadrant?
  • What is a stakeholder analysis table?
  • Who should be managing stakeholders?
  • What happens if stakeholders are not managed well?

Stakeholder Wheel

Chris introduces us to a stakeholder wheel. A stakeholder wheel is used to help identify stakeholders at a high level. After identifying the high-level stakeholders, project team members can break them down more precisely.
In our simple example below, our project is to build wheelchair ramps at the homes of those in need. The project team begins by identifying the high-level stakeholder groups. They then start the breakdown of the details of each stakeholder group. For example, "Recipients" is a generic stakeholder group. They are identified as external to the project. There are two recipients in our example, A and B. The stakeholder wheel helps start a conversation on stakeholders.

Stakeholder Analysis Quadrant

We can use a stakeholder analysis quadrant by visually placing stakeholders on the chart based on their level of influence and interest. This analysis is subjective but can spark some conversations with the team. Remember, the level of influence and interest is as of now on the project only. A stakeholder may be very interested in Rotary but not on the project. Depending on where the stakeholder falls helps the project team tailor the relationship. Using our same wheelchair ramp example, the building inspector has a high level of influence but a low level of interest. The inspector falls in the "keep satisfied" quadrant. This indicates how this project team should manage this stakeholder.
Don't forget that stakeholders can move around the chart over time. There may also be a desire to push a stakeholder in a certain direction. The project team should review stakeholders on a regular basis.

Stakeholder Analysis Table

A different way to analyze stakeholders is to rate them low, medium, or high in different categories. The example categories Chris suggested were importance, interest, level of commitment, and engagement intensity. Just like the stakeholder analysis quadrant, each stakeholder is rated as of now on the project. You can customize this table to include other categories as needed. You could also add columns for desired states. For example, the club sponsor has been rated low under interest. This may be okay for the project, but if the sponsor's logo is placed on the wheelchair ramps, the project team may want to increase their interest.

Excel/Google Sheet

The examples above have been made pretty for the podcast. Don't forget to keep things simple and only do things that add value. There is nothing wrong with using an Excel or Google sheet to record and manage stakeholder information. This may be especially helpful if it is cloud-based. This will help with easy sharing and quick updating. Customize these tables to meet your needs. The example below is based on the same project. The team lists the stakeholders, level of influence, current interest, desired interest, communication needs, the project member responsible, and the last update. The colour coding helps identify stakeholders with a desired interest the team wants to change or at least keep an eye on. Take a look at the material donor. This stakeholder has a higher level of interest than desired by the team. The team keeps an eye on this stakeholder to ensure they get the interactions they want, especially since their level of influence is high.

Learn More

About Our Guest - Chris Hornberger

With more than 30 years’ experience as a business leader, Chris brings a deep understanding of the issues facing today’s senior and emerging leaders. As a Fellow Certified Management Consultant (FCMC) and Certified Executive Coach (CEC), Chris is a founding partner in Halifax Global Inc., a firm specializing in providing executive services to its clients, including strategic planning and facilitation, coaching and strategic counsel.

Prior to launching her coaching and consulting career 20 years ago, Chris worked in the public and private sectors in Canada and the US as a senior leader in workers’ compensation, health insurance and health IT. 

Her clients represent diverse sectors, among them associations, and not-for-profit / charitable organizations; business and industry; government / government related services; post-secondary education; and social services organizations. Her projects make a difference every day in people’s lives - people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, job seekers, employers, women in technology, shareholders in private businesses, scientists, cancer patients, international students, and many others.

As a Rotarian and a life-long volunteer, Chris believes in giving back to her community. She has served on boards and committees of multiple charitable and not-for-profit organizations and for many years, she has mentored new Canadians, recent graduates, and young entrepreneurs.

You can connect with Chris though her website:

About Our Host

Thomas Paul is a member of the Rotary Club of Halifax Harbour in Halifax, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a certified Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM), and a member of the Project Management Institute. Thomas is passionate about giving back to his community through volunteering and projects.

Thomas’ LinkedIn Profile - ⁠ ⁠

PDUs for this Episode

Learn how to claim PDUs here.
0.0 - Ways of Working
0.0 - Power Skills
0.25 - Business Acument