Power/Interest Grid Template
The Power/Interest Grid contains four quadrants. Each quadrant gives you an indication of the level of stakeholder management that you’ll have to employ and may also influence the type of communication style. The four quadrants of the Power/Interest Grid are shown below. (Click image for a larger view.)
Stakeholders that lie in the Manage Closely quadrant can easily ensure project failure, if you don’t manage them properly. For example, suppose you are the project manager of a consulting project. The sign-off authority on the deliverables is someone who’ll fall in the Manage Closely quadrant in the Power/Interest Grid. However, your business development manager (the person that got your organization the contract) does not need to be managed closely. You may want to include her in the Monitor quadrant.
As you might have already deduced, interest is very subjective and can be error prone. You might think a certain stakeholder has a high level of interest in project success, but in relative terms, may actually not. For example, a project manager has a very high interest in ensuring the project is successful. This success would in turn impact the bottom line of the organization. The bottom line is of very high interest to the CEO and CFO. However, there are several other factors that play a role in impacting the bottom line. Therefore, in relative terms, the CEO and CFO interest will not be as interested in your project success as your Program Manager.
Hence, identifying and gauging the interest levels of stakeholders is critical when using the Power/Interest Grid in stakeholder prioritization. As a matter of fact, there are many softskills for project manager qualifications that focus on Communication and Stakeholder Management.