Rolling back from the power/interest matrix

A new approach to role based stakeholder engagement in projects

It is widely acknowledged that a successful project needs well managed and effective stakeholder relationships, but sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and attempting to understand the stakeholder landscape is a daunting task. Turning that piece of paper into a tangible and sustainable relationship that benefits the project, and the organization, is harder still.

Many projects and programmes adopt the power-interest matrix in an attempt to codify and order the process for identifying stakeholders; yet this approach privileges a certain type of stakeholder at the expense of many others who are needed to make the project successful.

Lou Horton – a business change manager in government – and I are arguing that it is not the combination of power and influence that should determine a stakeholder’s worth to a project, but rather that person’s role in the organisation. Engaging stakeholders in this way provides increased opportunities for sustainable change and benefits realisation.

Our full article is published in PM World Journal. Let us know what you think.

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About the author

Ann Pilkington

Ann is a co-founder of PR Academy, a leading provider of public relations and communication education.  Her special areas of interest are internal communication and project communication.

Ann leads PR Academy’s CIPR internal comms certificate.


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