Salience Model – Stakeholder Analysis

Who is a stakeholder? Simply anyone with a stake in the project either direct or indirect.

PMBOK says that stakeholders for a project are persons or organizations  –

  • who are actively involved;
  • whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the performance or completion of it.
Stakeholder analysis is a process of systematically gathering and analyzing qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account when developing and/or implementing a policy or program.
Remember that the more complex your project is, the more attention you need to pay to manage stakeholders. You can do all the right things for a project, but mismanaging a stakeholder with power, influence, and interest can cause the project’s failure.

Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997-99) have come up with a stakeholder analysis model, that can help a project manager in the early phase of the planning process to identify stakeholders and classify them according to three major attributes –

  1. Power – to influence the organization or project deliverables (coercive, financial or material, brand or image);
  2. Legitimacy – of the relationship & actions in terms of desirability, properness, or appropriateness;
  3. Urgency – of the requirements in terms of criticality & time sensitivity for the stakeholder.

Based on the combination of these attributes, priority is assigned to the stakeholder.


Level 3
(High Priority)
7 – Definitive
Power, Legitimacy & Urgency
Level 2
(Medium Priority)
4 – Dominant
Power & Legitimacy
5 – Dangerous
Power & Urgency
6 – Dependent
Legitimacy & Urgency
Level 1
(Low Priority)
1 – Dormant
2 – Discretionary
3 – Demanding

 Keep in mind that  –

  • These three attributes can be gained or lost during the time period of the project, so pay attention when it happens.
  • Level 1 (Low Priority) stakeholders can increase their salience through coalition building, politics, or media influence.
  • Power alone is insufficient to classify a stakeholder high priority, but sometimes it does, for example – the CEO’s favorite project.
  • Stakeholder analysis requires careful planning, standard guidelines for selecting stakeholders, resourceful team members with background information, and a standard set of questions that feed into the worksheet.

More resources on stakeholder analysis are at  –

References –

  1. PMBOK Guide- 4th edition, PMI. 2008
  2. Schmeer, Kammi. 1999. Guidelines for Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis. November 1999

Categories: PMP, Project Management

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. For an updated model built on Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997-99) and others, see the work of Dr. Lynda Bourne at . The Stakeholder circle® introduces the concept of movement – stakeholders are not static and effective communication can change attitudes.

  2. Great summary there


  1. Who is My Current or Potential Client? « Larry Stevenson
  2. » Who is My Current or Potential Client?
  3. Technique: Power, Legitimacy and Urgency model | Requirements Techniques
  4. Links – Business Communication

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: