The Influence/Impact grid, which is also known as the Influence/Impact matrix, is a tool that helps you understand which stakeholders have the most influence and the impact they can make on project success. This tool is very similar to the Power/Interest or Power/Influence grids. By focusing on the key set of project stakeholders, you can prioritize stakeholders requests, spend time as per influence and impact stakeholders have, and lead your project to a success without stakeholder conflicts.
By definition, Influence is the level of involvement the person has and impact is the ability of the stakeholder to bring out a desired change. This could be during project planning or project execution. For example, a stakeholder that has the ability to set deadlines and hence the project schedule would be classified as high impact. This stakeholder would also have the ability to dictate the length of the critical path.
PMP Tip: The Influence/Impact grid is part of Project Communication Management as per the fourth version of the PMBOK. You should know what it is and how to apply it.
During the Stakeholder Analysis of a project, you:
- Document the interests and motivations of stakeholders in the project
- Which stakeholder has influence over project resources?
- Identify the stakeholders that can make the project unsuccessful
- Identify conflicting interests and relationships between stakeholders
- Identify stakeholders whose influence evolves during the project
Determine communication media and style is best suited for each stakeholder
The Influence/Impact grid in stakeholder management pertains to the level of influence stakeholders have on the project. By using this matrix, you can determine which stakeholders to manage closely and which stakeholders to put minimum effort in. This helps you channel you time and energy on the stakeholders that can make-or-break your project. In addition, it helps you create a communication and stakeholder strategy.
Next, let’s see how the Influence/Impact Grid looks like.