Design Thinking Tool: Stakeholders’ Power-Interest Matrix

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The Role of This Tool in the Second Phase of the Design Thinking Method

The stakeholders’ Power-Interest Matrix (or Mendelow’s Matrix) is a strategic tool used for stakeholder analysis. It helps organizations to understand the interests, influence, and power of different stakeholders, which is critical when designing solutions that meet various stakeholder needs.

In the “Discovering All-Rounded Information” phase of Design Thinking, the aim is to gather as much information about the problem context as possible. This includes understanding all relevant stakeholders: their needs, influence, and how the problem and potential solutions could impact them.

The Matrix plays a key role in this phase by providing a framework to categorize stakeholders based on their power (ability to influence the project or decision-making process) and interest (how concerned they are about the outcomes). By using this tool, designers can ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of the stakeholder landscape, which is a crucial part of the information discovery phase.

It aligns with this principle by ensuring that all stakeholders – people with an interest or influence over the project – are identified and considered in the design process. The matrix helps to understand who these stakeholders are, what their needs and interests are, and how much they could influence the project. This ensures that the project is not just focused on the end-user but also considers the broader ecosystem of people who might be impacted by the project.

By helping to understand and manage the needs and influences of all stakeholders, Mendelow’s Matrix helps to ensure that the solutions developed are truly human-centered and meet the needs of all relevant parties.

The Procedure for Using This Design Thinking Tool

Step 1: Identify Stakeholders: List all possible stakeholders who are impacted by or have an influence on the problem or project.

Step 2: Analyze Power and Interest: For each stakeholder, assess their level of power and interest in the project. Power refers to their ability to influence the project, while interest refers to the level of concern they have for the project’s outcome.

Step 3: Plot Stakeholders on the Matrix: The matrix is a 2×2 grid, with power on one axis and interest on the other. Each stakeholder is placed on the grid based on their power and interest.

Low Power, Low Interest (bottom left): These stakeholders require minimal management effort.

High Power, Low Interest (top left): These stakeholders must be satisfied but not fully engaged.

Low Power, High Interest (bottom right): These stakeholders should be informed, and their opinions can provide valuable insights.

High Power, High Interest (top right): These stakeholders are key players and must be managed closely.

Step 4: Develop Stakeholder Management Strategies: Based on their position in the matrix, develop strategies for engaging and managing each stakeholder.

The Worksheet of This Tool

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