How do you perform a stakeholder analysis?

Stakeholders: every company has them but not everyone manages them equally well. And that is a shame. Responding to and properly dealing with stakeholders can ensure that your company does not have to take unnecessary risks and that the chances of success of your strategy increase significantly.

If you know who your stakeholders are and how they influence your business and vice versa, you can adjust your policy accordingly. ISO has understood the importance of understanding and acting upon your stakeholders. This is why the performance of a stakeholder analysis has been included in section 4.1 of the new version of the ISO 9001 standard. Because this section is new, many companies have a lot of questions regarding this section.

Who or what are stakeholders?

In this blog we want to help you get answers to questions about this new section in the ISO 9001 standard. Of course we start with the basics: ‘Who are stakeholders?’ Here we can give you a very simple answer: stakeholders are parties that can influence your company and vice versa. Thus, your stakeholders are very diverse: from your own employees to the government and competitors.

What is a stakeholder analysis and how do you perform it?

You map out your stakeholders using a stakeholder analysis. This analysis consists of 2 different steps.

The standard requires 2 aspects:

  • Determine which stakeholders are actually relevant.
  • Determine what expectations these relevant stakeholders have.

1. Determine which stakeholders are actually relevant (stakeholder analysis)

Every organisation has to deal with a large group of stakeholders. However, not all of them are relevant to the management system and have little or no influence on the organisation’s results.

By determining which stakeholders are actually relevant, an initial division is made. Determining which stakeholders are relevant can be done by determining what the company’s interest is with the stakeholder in question and how much influence the stakeholder in question has or how much influence you have on this stakeholder.


Competent authority: influence is high to very high, but the interest that competent authority has in your organisation is low to moderate. From this it follows that they have influence and therefore need to be kept happy.

The exercise of categorising is important to carry out the first step. Below is a list of possible stakeholders, on which this can be determined. Perhaps you can think of another group or you would like to name them differently. If so, please add it.

  • Customers / Clients (may also be subdivided into A, B and C clients)
  • Suppliers of services
  • Suppliers of goods
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Competent authorities
  • Other authorities
  • Employees
  • Managers
  • The board of directors
  • Shareholders
  • Partnership partners
  • Media organisations
  • Schools and colleges
  • Financial Institutions
  • Certification authority
  • Trade associations
  • Trade union
  • General society
  • Competition

2. Determine the expectations of these relevant stakeholders

Determine the expectations of these relevant stakeholders.

During the second step, you determine what the expectations are of the actual relevant stakeholders. This is to see what needs to be secured within the organisation.

The following information can be recorded:

  • Relevant stakeholders
  • Specific expectations
  • Related risks
  • Required action

For each relevant stakeholder, several expectations may be relevant. The register shows some examples.

  • Relevant stakeholder: Competent authority
  • Specific expectation: Compliance with laws and regulations
  • Associated risks: Fines for non-compliance with laws and regulations
  • Required action: Regularly assess compliance with laws and regulations

How does a stakeholder analysis contribute to continuous improvement?

From your knowledge of ISO 9001 you probably already know that performing a stakeholder analysis is not a one-off exercise. In the context of continuous improvement and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, you must ensure that something is and remains appropriate and that you gain the maximum from your efforts. Therefore, you are expected to regularly check whether your stakeholder analysis and your plan of action towards your stakeholders are still up to date.

Monitoring your stakeholder activities is important because your stakeholders are constantly trying to improve, just like you. And when your stakeholders change, it can have major consequences for your business. For example, if your company exists within an industry where laws are frequently changed, it is important to keep a close eye on the government as a stakeholder. If you do not do this, you may suddenly find yourself no longer complying with mandatory legislation and having to pay large fines.


That performing a stakeholder analysis and monitoring your stakeholders and plan of action is important, is probably clear by now. Our tip to really make sure you engage with your stakeholders in a conscious and effective way is: ensure transparent communication and do not promise more than you can deliver. This way you build a good relationship with your stakeholders and they will eventually appreciate you as a party to reckon with. Download our format for stakeholder analysis.