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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What is Stakeholder Analysis and how does it benefit the business analyst?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 39705 Views // 3 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Elicitation (BABOK KA)

ANSWER

Stakeholder Analysis is the process of identifying project stakeholders, how their needs may impact the project, and the contributions that the stakeholders will make to the requirements elicitation process.  Projects typically have a large number of stakeholders from many different areas of the organization.  Based on each stakeholder’s position and responsibilities, the level of their involvement and their importance to the project will vary.

Stakeholder Analysis is sometimes called a Stakeholder Involvement Plan or a Stakeholder Elicitation Plan.  Regardless of the name used, Stakeholder Analysis goes beyond identifying project stakeholders.  After all project stakeholders have been identified, it should be determined how involved each stakeholder should be in the requirements elicitation process.  The business analyst should document a number of factors for each stakeholder including:

  • Importance – How important is the stakeholder in the requirements elicitation process?  Are they required in order to document all of the critical project requirements, or are they nice to have adding clarity to processes that may further refine requirements?  Answering these questions will help ensure that the project will meet its goals and objectives, and that critical requirements aren’t missed.
  • Influence – How influential is the stakeholder to the project?  Even if they aren’t needed for the requirements elicitation, are they in a position of authority?  Does the stakeholder have the ability to dramatically alter the course of the project if they hear about and are unhappy with the current direction of the project?  Answers to these questions will ensure that the most influential stakeholders are updated on a regular basis with the project status.
  • Level of Involvement – What level of involvement and how much time will be expected of each stakeholder?  Do they need to be fully allocated to the project?  Do they need to be in every requirements elicitation session?  Can they be involved in only key requirements elicitation sessions? Do they only need to attend a final requirements review session?  These questions help ensure that the necessary people are made available to the project for the right amount of time.
  • Frequency of Involvement – How often will each stakeholder need to be involved; daily, every other day, once per week?  This information will help the business analyst plan and schedule the necessary meetings accordingly.
  • Method of Involvement – What method will be used to involve each stakeholder?  Will they receive email-based status reports? Will they be involved in requirements gathering sessions?  Will they be asked to sit in one-on-one requirements interviews?  This information will aid in development of a communication plan and the appropriate selection of communication techniques.

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Chris Adams
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ADDITIONAL ANSWERS / COMMENTS

Anudeep posted on Saturday, January 16, 2016 6:52 PM
It was a nice answer but i would like to add techniques for stakeholder analysis.

Identifying and prioritizing stakeholders can be done in Stakeholder Analysis. They are few techniques used in real time scenarios i.e. 1. RACI Matrix, Stakeholder Map (Matrix and Onion map).

RACI: Classify stakeholders according to this method.

R - Responsible
A - Accountable
C - Consulted
I - Informed.

Similarly, prioritization can be done using Stakeholder Map based on Impact of Stakeholder as X- axis and Influence of stakeholder in the project as Y -axis.

Business Analyst will save time, avoid conflicts and all stakeholders views will be considered if BA follow these techniques.
Midhun posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 12:19 AM
So who is a stakeholder for a Business Analyst on his project , his project mates like PM, Developers , Testers etc or the Client ?
Adrian M. posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 12:32 AM
There is no question that the client or the project sponsor on the business side are the main stakeholders. If the analyst creates the best looking and the most clear specs for the developers and testers and if the analyst meets all the deadlines outlined by the PM but does not solve the client's problem, then the BA failed.
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

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