Stakeholders Analysis

1. Stakeholders

The first step is to have a clear understanding of the stakeholders involved around your problem statement. Stakeholders are all the persons who would be the direct beneficiaries of your solution or would be directly or indirectly affected by your idea. Think about the people who have a problem that you are solving, or those who would be paying for the solution or who will be directly or indirectly impacted by the problem you have identified or the solution that you would propose. All those are stakeholders for your idea. Using the “Stakeholders Map”, identify all the core, direct and indirect stakeholders for your idea.

1.1 Target Stakeholders

Target stakeholders are the primary benefciaries of your idea. Identify minimum of one and maximum of three core stakeholders who will also be the users of your solution.

1. 2 Connected Stakeholders

Connected stakeholders are all the stakeholders who are connected to the target users and are thereby directly influencing or being influenced by your target users in the context of your idea. These are also the stakeholders who might be paying or helping implement the solution that you’ll be envisioning. Note that in many cases, the one who pays for the solution may not necessarily be the one who uses it. And the one who implements the solution may be a totally different person.

1.3 Influenced Stakeholders

Influenced stakeholders are all other identified stakeholders who influence or are indirectly influenced by your target users or connected stakeholders.Therefore, the reason to think of all the connected and influenced stakeholders is to have an exploratory approach to the problem space and not look at the problem space only through the narrow lens of identified target stakeholders.

1. 4 Stakeholder Template

Here is one example of stakeholders if your problem statement is:
How might we enable stay-at-home moms who love cooking to sell their cuisines to working professionals who do not have time to cook and wish to eat home-cooked meals?
In this case, target stakeholders could be stay-at-home moms, aunts, dads, grandparents and working professionals.
Connected stakeholders could be family members, neighbours for the cook and co-workers for the working professionals.

Stakeholders map

Influenced stakeholders could be homeowners’ association managers, local regulators, grocery stores, vegetable providers, meat providers, professional kitchen providers and others.

1.5 Guidance

1.5.1 Session Lead

Draw the template on a flip chart/whiteboard.
Ask participants to identify all stakeholders who:
◾ Have a problem that you are solving.
◾ Are the primary users/beneficiaries of your solution.
◾ Could benefit in any other domain, function or industry. (Thinking about beneficiaries in domains other than the one you are thinking of directly also helps in stirring up new ideas of applicability of your solution.)
◾ Will pay for the solution. (Buyer may be different than the user.)
◾ Will implement the solution. (Is there another stakeholder who will make the solution ready for use?)
◾ Are directly impacted by primary users of your solution.
◾ Are indirectly impacted by primary users or your solution.

Stakeholders example.

1.5.2 Three-minute Self-brainstorm

All participants think of the stakeholders without talking with each other.
All participants write one stakeholder name per sticky note.

1.5.3 Team Brainstorm

The facilitator asks each participant to place the stakeholders one by one and places the stakeholders in the appropriate category (target, connected and influenced).
The team should come to a consensus on the stakeholders and their placement on the template. Moreover, the team should identify at least one and no more than three target stakeholders for the problem space. We also call them users.

1.5.4 Document Assumptions

After agreeing on the stakeholders, the session lead should ask the team to write down all the assumptions that you are making and record those assumptions in the assumptions template.

1.5.5 Review Prior Steps

At this point, it is suggested to review the problem statement to ensure it is still valid. Adjust the problem statement as needed with the consensus of the team.