At least one person with a strategic role in the project (e.g. project leader) and one person with an operational role (e.g. researcher) should work on the Stakeholder Salience Model.

1. Identify the stakeholders of your project and think about their role in the project (e.g. project leader, partners, competitors, suppliers, target group, etc.). Enter this information in a table.

2. Think about which of the following three attributes you would attribute to stakeholders:

a. Power: The ability of stakeholders to influence the performance, activities, operations, and outcomes of a project, i.e., one stakeholder A can make another stakeholder B do something that B would not have done otherwise.

b. Legitimacy: the authority to make claims. Look for stakeholders who are entitled to make claims that are considered legitimate.

c. Urgency: the degree to which stakeholder claims require immediate attention. How important it is to respond quickly to stakeholder expectations and demands?

3. Stakeholders who possess only one of the three attributes are referred to as latent stakeholders. They are therefore given the least attention in relation to the others. The second most important group is represented by the expectant stakeholders, who are assigned two attributes. The greatest attention, on the other hand, is given to the definitive stakeholders, who have all three attributes.

4. Derive clear responsibilities for dealing with the (external) project stakeholders from the corresponding roles and attributes.

More about the tool

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • The model enables a better overview of the stakeholders in a project, a deeper understanding of their influence and provides valuable information for strategic and communication planning.
  • The method provides indications of stakeholders that are not yet sufficiently considered.
  • Through continuous development, this model provides a good overview of all stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.


  • It sometimes requires lengthy discussion as to which attributes to assign to a stakeholder.
  • It is a subjective process; bias can influence effectiveness.
  • This model assumes that the attributes are present or absent, ignoring gradual gradations.

Application into practice

The sub-project "Science Marketing - Models, Strategies, Instruments for Science/Society" has set itself the goal in mü of examining the cooperation between science and society in a scientific-analytical way. At a monthly meeting of all subprojects of the mü overall project the subproject Science Marketing supported the other subprojects in their stakeholder segmentation. The Stakeholder Salience Model was used for this purpose. Usually, the stakeholder analysis is not done as a group activity, but only by two people from the team, one of whom has a strategic role and the other an operational role. The development of Stakeholder Salience in a workshop by a group represents a new, participatory approach. Participants should first consider, which stakeholders are affected by the subproject. In the next step, each of these stakeholders was assigned a role (e.g., project management, project partner, competitor, user, etc.) on a whiteboard in the form of a table.

Hints from practice

  • Take time for the Stakeholder Salience Model. It is very important in order to engage with your stakeholders and additionally can save time and contribute significantly to the success of the project through targeted actions as the project progresses.
  • Start with a broad list of stakeholders and gradually narrow the circle of relevant stakeholders. You will also gain insights if you determine that no relevant stakeholder is involved. Then you can save resources accordingly.
  • The model is dynamic. This means that stakeholders can be added, disappear, or move from one group to another over the course of the project. Therefore, you should continuously check the list of stakeholders and the corresponding assignment of attributes.


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