Stakeholder Analysis – What is it? Why do you do need to do it before selecting an MSP or RPO?

Stakeholder analysis is a term used in conflict resolutionproject management, and business administration to describe a process where all the individuals or groups that are likely to be affected by a proposed action are identified and then sorted according to how much they can affect the action and how much the action can affect them. This information is used to assess how the interests of those stakeholders should be addressed in a project plan, policy, program, or other action. Stakeholder analysis is a key part of Stakeholder management. (Thank you Wikipedia)

At the simplest level it is understanding WHO touches, influences or has power over whether a program can succeed or fail.   The second level deciphers HOW it impacts them and the pre-work that is needed to be done with each stakeholder.  The third level deciphers of the stakeholders, do the decision makers or key influencers have COMPETING PRIORITIES that may impact the success of your initiative?

While this sounds so very simple, I have seen numerous occasions during the RFP and Selection process, as well as during a merger/acquisition where the entire activity comes to a stop or gets much delayed due to a stakeholder with power or influence not being included. If you want to throw out a number, I would say this can happen as much as 1/3 of the time.

Who should do a Stakeholder Analysis?

Not to toot my own horn, but depending upon the situation a consultant may be the best option. This person can maneuver through the stakeholder community and perform an effective voice of the stakeholder to understand their motives and needs more effectively.

Another option, such as when I was internal to a financial services organization is to bring in the process optimization group.  They can be seen as operational experts to help drive the achieved end goal.

Where do you begin?


For simplicity purposes, let’s just assume you only want to manage contingent labor or full time low level hiring process.  These processes may touch:

1. Lines of business

2. Procurement

3. HR – Recruiting

4. Security

5. Accounts Payable

6. I.T.

And sometimes many more…depending upon how it is managed today.

Second Step:  What is your Current state and the To Be process?

1. Do NOT map this out at the highest levels.  It is the details that get a program in trouble.  Create a process map that defines the business rules, how it integrates with technology and the risks associated with the processes you are seeking to execute and currently perform.

MSP:  (Process examples) Requisition to check, on-boarding and off-boarding, timekeeping and supplier / temp billing, supplier management, escalations, billing errors.

For RPO  (Process examples) there are volume, professional, college, executive, vendor management, ramp up, on-boarding and country based processes.

Third Step: Of these processes which are you seeking an MSP or RPO to manage?

Fourth: In the TO BE outsourced process, who does this impact?  What are the upstream and downstream impacts?

Whallaa!!  Now you have identified the stakeholders and can begin to assess the impact. Now just don’t guess, begin the road show. Conduct a voice of the customer or a set of focus groups.  Here is where you want to confirm your assumptions and learn about the motivators or the unspoken impacts.  Once you complete this stage – you will have one really pretty excel spreadsheet that will help identify the things that need to be done BEFORE you begin the process.

Fifth:  In this step – begin to organize your information about each stakeholder and document how the TO BE process will impact them, and how you will need to include and communicate to these individuals so a successful project can be executed.


You may be thinking right now, this is a lot of work for a simple outsourcing effort.  For some organizations that are small and agile, yes you may be right.  For others that are large, complex and possibly global, I would recommend doing a stakeholder analysis The reality is, I personally have experienced the pain by not going through these steps earlier in my career and experienced it as a supplier going through the RFP or sales pursuit process.

Tracey Friend, Snr. Consultant


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