A5.1 Stakeholder analysis

Stakeholder analysis

What should I expect the outcomes to be of using the tool?

Stakeholder analysis is one of the first steps you should take in any change project.  It enables you to identify everyone with a concern or interest who needs to be involved.  Once you have come up with the full list, you then need to categorise it: from people with the greatest involvement, through to more peripheral individuals or groups.  The more important the stakeholder is to the success of the project, the more time and resources you need to devote to maintaining their involvement and commitment.  The outcome of doing this analysis is that you will understand where to use and focus your resource to engage and influence the stakeholders who can have the biggest impact on success of your project. 

Tool/ method

1. Identifying your stakeholders 

Identifying stakeholders requires a good deal of research.  One effective way you can achieve this is by assembling a group of subject matter experts, especially those with good networks.  The experts then brainstorm a list of all the people and groups likely to be affected by the proposed change.  The list is recorded onto a flipchart, or typed onto a laptop, for the group to see.

2. Prioritising your stakeholders
Once the list of names has been generated, you should then analyse the list in terms of power, influence and the extent to which they are affected by the project or change.  Each name is inserted into a four sector table (see below).

A useful acronym for ensuring that you have included all likely stakeholders in the health service is the ‘9 Cs' listed below:

  1. Commissioners: those that pay the organisation to do things
  2. Customers: those that acquire and use the organisation's products
  3. Collaborators: those with whom the organisation works to develop and deliver products
  4. Contributors: those from whom the organisation acquires content for products
  5. Channels: those who provide the organisation with a route to a market or customer
  6. Commentators: those whose opinions of the organisation are heard by customers and others
  7. Consumers: those who are served by our customers: i.e. patients, families, users
  8. Champions: those who believe in and will actively promote the project
  9. Competitors: those working in the same area who offer similar or alternative services

 Four sector table: 

High power


Opinion formers. Keep them satisfied with what is happening and review your analysis of their position regularly.


Key stakeholders who should be fully engaged through full communication and consultation.

Low power


This group may be ignored if time and resources are stretched.


Patients often fall into this category. It may be helpful to take steps to increase their influence by organising them into groups or taking active consultative work.


Low impact/ stake holding

High impact/ stake holding


Larger projects, with very many stakeholders may use a nine sector table to provide greater definition of the stakeholders:


Nine sector table:

High power


Moderate power


Little or no power



Little or no impact

Moderate impact

High impact


Having identified the stakeholders, prepare a readiness for change matrix to see who is for, or against the proposals.  This will also help you define any influencing activities that might be needed.



3. Understanding your key stakeholders
You now need to know more about your key stakeholders: how are they likely to feel about and react to your project?  You also need to know how best to engage and communicate with them.

Key questions to help you understand your stakeholders

  • What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work?  Is it positive or negative?
  • What motivates them most of all?
  • What information do they want from you?
  • How do they want to receive information from you?  What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
  • What is their current opinion of your work?  Is it based on accurate information?
  • Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you?  Do some of these influencers therefore become important stakeholders in their own right?
  • If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
  • If you don't think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
  • Who else might be influenced by their opinions?  Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?

Often the best way to answer these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly.  People are usually quite open about their views - asking their opinions can be the first step in building a successful relationship with them.

4. Managing your stakeholders
The analysis is useless if it does not lead to action.  The project team should devise actions to win round doubters, and sustain and enthuse supporters. 

Why we may choose to use this tool/ method?

  • To make sure you have got sufficient support for your project to be a success from the key stakeholders.
  • To understand how you may need to shift some of your stakeholders in their thinking.
  • To improve service delivery processes you will need to actively engage a wide variety of people such as clinicians, administrative staff, patients and user groups.  Thorough analysis and proper planning will facilitate this engagement.
  • It also helps you to avoid conflict and associated delays caused by inadvertently failing to involve key people.  

How you might use this tool/ method?

You might use this tool as a collective/ team action to ensure your whole team understands the role of stakeholders in the success of the project and to communicate to them the plan for further engagement.

What next?

Once you have identified and categorised the stakeholders, you can use the listings to devise a communications plan setting out what information needs to be given to which people, and how.  You should also prepare a briefing note for project team members to ensure that everyone is aware of the methods to be used.  The team leading the project needs to allocate responsibility and put relevant monitoring arrangements in place. 

Examples/ case studies/ links to best practice/ evidence

An example in use

As part of a change project to improve systems for clinical coding, it is proposed to implement source coding by consultants. The project manager asks the work group to identify everyone who may be involved or affected by such a change.  The list is a long one, so the team assess their relative power and influence within the system and produce the following analysis.

High power

Chief executive

Finance director

BMA rep


Consultant medical staff

Clinical coding manager

Finance creditor staff

Medical director

Primary Care Trust

Clinical governance lead

Low power

Medical records staff

Medical secretaries

Clinical coding staff

Clinical audit

Junior doctors

IT systems manager


Low impact/ stake holding

High impact/ stake holding


Using the analysis, they then design membership for the project board (see project management) and a communications plan to keep people informed and involved.  This was followed by a PDSA cycle pilot to try out various aspects of the suggested change in practice.

Contact for further information




Toolkit overview
The purpose of this toolkit
What is the Cumbria Production System?
How can we transform our services?
Cumbria Production System - improvement principles
What improvement outcomes and results can we expect?
When should you use the tools?
Key tool templates and visualisations
Summary of tools
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
1.4 Measuring for improvement
1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
2.1 Maximising value
2.2 Customer Journey Mapping (CJM)
2.3 Process mapping
2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
5.1 Stakeholder analysis
A. The tools in detail
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
A1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
A1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
A1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
A1.4 Measuring for improvement
A1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
A2.1 Maximising value
A2.2 Patient/ Customer Journey Mapping
A2.3 Process mapping
A2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
A3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
A3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
A3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
A4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
A5.1 Stakeholder analysis
B. Common improvement terms (glossary)
C. References and acknowledgements