Help Files

Adjust Index Weightings

Detailed Methodology

The relative influence of each stakeholder is assessed by applying weighting factors to the project team’s assessment of the stakeholder’s Power, Proximity and Urgency to calculate a unique index value (the higher the index value, the greater the stakeholder’s influence). The resulting Index is then translated into a priority (Priority 1 = the most influential; ie, the highest index). The Top 15 stakeholders are further analyzed to provide the input data needed to generate the Stakeholder Circle.

The Index for each Stakeholder is calculated by adjusting the Stakeholder’s Power, Proximity and Urgency by the chosen weighting factors. The values actually applied are normalized so that choosing 1 – 1 – 1 would be the same as choosing 9 – 9 – 9: all three factors have the same weighting. Selecting different values will cause the Index to change, favoring a factor with a higher weighting over one with a lower weighting.

The setting for each project needs to be based on its situation:

  • A project with a high public profile is likely to require a high weighting on ‘Urgency’. People’s ability to ‘go public’ mean that they can exert more pressure on the project team (and consequently need more management) than would be the case for a low profile project
  • Similarly, projects operating in an organizational culture that emphasizes collegiate decision making, and the importance of the group rather than the individual, would need a higher weighting on Urgency than Power
  • Conversely, an internal project in a hierarchical organization is more likely to require the weighting to favor ‘Power’.

The Stakeholder Circle’s default setting of 4 – 2 – 5 de-emphasizes Proximity (2) and puts slightly more emphasis on Urgency (5) compared to Power (4). These settings have been found to work reasonably well on a wide range of projects. The time to start changing the weightings is after the prioritization process has been completed and the Stakeholder Circle diagram printed. Then, if several people attuned to the workings of the organization comment along the lines “Mary should probably be higher than John” adjusting the weightings may be appropriate if there is a consistent trend towards one of the factors.

In the example mentioned above:

  • Mary assessment is: Power 4, Proximity 3 and Urgency 3
    (4 + 3 + 3 = 10)
  • John assessment is: Power 3, Proximity 3 and Urgency 4
    (3 + 3 + 4 = 10)

The default settings for the ‘weightings’ of Power = 4, Proximity = 2 and Urgency = 5 favor Urgency and after applying the weightings the Index Values for the two people are:

  • Mary = 50.173
  • John = 50.532

John has a slightly higher Index value than Mary and consequently would have a higher priority.

Adjusting the Weightings to Power = 7, Proximity = 2 and Urgency = 4 shifts the calculation fairly strongly towards Power. Without changing any of the team’s assessments for Power, Proximity and Urgency the Index values now become:

  • Mary = 50.981
  • John = 49.927

Consequently, Mary would now have a higher priority than John.

Note: The weightings are not designed to dramatically change the order of stakeholders in the list, stakeholders with relatively high assessments for Power, Proximity and Urgency should always come above those with relatively low assessments. However, where the overall assessment values are similar (as in the example above) then the weightings will influence the sequencing, and therefore the priority of stakeholders as depicted on the visualization tool.


Not all of the above features are available in the SWS Excel Spreadsheet, none are included in the SoaP Word Template. For a summary of the features in each tool see: Tools Description

Weightings are adjuded on the ‘Help’ tab of the SWS Excel Spreadsheet.

Visit the Methodology Page to read a summary of the overall StakeholderCircle methodology.

SIMS dB Data Entry / Data Management

Set Weightings

Select ‘Set Weightings’ from the Main Menu.

  • Adjust the relative weighting factors to the appropriate settings for your project.
  • To reset the default weightings, click ‘Reset Default Weightings’

Help (email only – 24 Hrs)

Help is available to all Stakeholder Circle users – we will attempt to answer your questions within a 24 hr period. To access help in the first instance email your question to:

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Stakeholder Circle or our other products or services, fill out the form below and we will reply to you shortly.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt