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INCOSE 2007 – Stakeholder Analysis Techniques

I mentioned in another post a talk on Using stakeholder analysis to define the problem in systems engineering by Tim Trainor and Gregory Parnell. In this post, I’ll summarize some of their points, but keep in mind these are just the highlights.

They talked about the following techniques for stakeholder analysis:

  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys

They were quick to say that you are almost always going to use a combination of these techniques for the best success. Here are some highlights from each of the stakeholder analysis techniques.


  • Make it a conversation, not just a set of questions and answers
  • Engage the stakeholders to think out of the box about the future
  • Be flexible and expands on interesting things as they come up
  • Watch their body language – if they signal they are done, close and move on

Focus groups:

  • Can be anything from 1 hour to 1 day
  • Send out notes to the group after the session to share what you collected
  • Thank each of the attendees individually afterwards


  • Should take the participants only 5-20 minutes
  • When you need quantity a larger quantity of responses
  • Best for more junior stakeholders, not senior members of the team

They also touched on ideas for analyzing survey results, including grouping responses by questions or ideas to find redundancy, find the “golden nuggets” in the responses that aren’t repeated and summarize findings by question.

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