These stakeholders can range from project team members and management to suppliers, customers and regulatory agencies. In order to successfully fulfill the tasks related to Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification, it is essential to comprehend stakeholder expectations, interests and influence using several techniques such as meetings, interviews, and surveys.

Table of Contents

Meetings and Interviews

Conducting meetings and interviews with stakeholders is one of the foundational techniques used in stakeholder analysis. This approach allows a direct and personal interaction with stakeholders, particularly when you need to gather qualitative data. Depending on the size of the stakeholder group, interviews can be conducted as group sessions or one-on-one meetings. For instance, if a government department is a stakeholder in a project, one-on-one discussions can be held with key department representatives to identify their expectations and interests.

Surveys and Questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires offer a fast and efficient way of identifying stakeholder interests and influence, particularly for large groups. Surveys should be structured to elicit information about each stakeholder’s influence over the project, interest in the project, and the impact upon the stakeholder if the project is implemented or not implemented.

Consider a project that involves developing a new software application. Questions that might be included in a survey for internal stakeholders (such as team leads or management) include:

  • What importance do you assign to this project?
  • How would the success or failure of this project impact your role or department?
  • In what ways can you influence the outcome of this project?

For external stakeholders, such as clients or users, questions might include:

  • How would the success or failure of this project impact you?
  • What are your expectations from this project?
  • How interested are you in the success of the project?
Method Pros Cons
Meetings/Interviews In-depth, qualitative data; personal interaction Time-consuming, may not be possible with large groups
Surveys/Questionnaires Quick and efficient, collect data from large groups; quantitative data May not capture context or depth of stakeholder interests

Analyzing Stakeholder Data

Once data has been collected, it is then analyzed to prioritize stakeholders. This process can range from simple ranking tasks to more advanced techniques like the power/interest grid, where stakeholders are classified based on their level of interest and their power to influence the project outcome.

For instance, core team members might have a high level of interest and moderate power, while top management might have high power but variable interest. This can help in better planning stakeholder engagement and communication strategies.


Analyzing internal and external stakeholders is a critical process in portfolio management. By employing techniques such as meetings, interviews, surveys, and questionnaires, portfolio managers can better understand stakeholder expectations, interests, and influence, enabling them to manage the project portfolio more effectively. Therefore, mastering such skills is integral in the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification examination.

Practice Test

True or False: Meetings with internal and external stakeholders can be used as a technique to identify stakeholder expectations, interests, and influence on the lifesaver.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Interviews and meetings are a common method to gather information. It allows the project manager to directly contact stakeholders and gather needed information.

In which of the following ways can the stakeholder’s expectations, interests, and influence over the portfolio be identified?

  • A) Conducting Surveys
  • B) Conducting Interviews
  • C) Observing their daily routine
  • D) Reading their personal journals

Answer: A, B

Explanation: Both surveys and interviews are direct ways to get information from stakeholders. The other options may not provide accurate or ethical means of gathering this information.

True or False: The influence of stakeholders over the success of the portfolio can be identified only through meetings.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: The influence of stakeholders can be identified through several techniques like interviews, meetings, surveys as well as questionnaires.

Every internal stakeholder has a direct influence on the success of the portfolio.

  • A) True
  • B) False

Answer: B. False

Explanation: Not all internal stakeholders may have a direct influence on the portfolio’s success. Their influence level depends on their interest, power, and role in the project.

Which of the following techniques is more suitable for analyzing large groups of stakeholders:

  • A) Meetings
  • B) Interviews
  • C) Surveys

Answer: C. Surveys

Explanation: Surveys are typically the best choice when dealing with large groups of stakeholders as it is usually more time and resource efficient.

True or false: Surveys and questionnaires are typically used when stakeholders are geographically dispersed.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Surveys and questionnaires can easily be conducted online, making them the ideal tool for collecting information from stakeholders who are geographically dispersed.

The process of identifying stakeholder expectations, interests, and influence is typically a one-time activity.

  • A) True
  • B) False

Answer: B. False

Explanation: Stakeholder analysis is usually an ongoing activity because stakeholder interests and influence may change over time.

To identify stakeholders’ influence on the portfolio, it is crucial to look into their _______.

  • A) Financial status
  • B) Health status
  • C) Social status
  • D) Position in the organization

Answer: D. Position in the organization

Explanation: The position of stakeholders within the organization can affect their level of influence over the project.

Stakeholder analysis techniques are used to identify which kind of stakeholders?

  • A) Internal only
  • B) External only
  • C) Both internal and external

Answer: C. Both internal and external

Explanation: Techniques such as meetings, interviews, surveys/questionnaires are used to analyse both internal and external stakeholders.

True or False: The success of the portfolio is mainly dependent on external stakeholders.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: The success of a portfolio depends on both internal and external stakeholders. Both of them can influence the outcome of the portfolio, albeit in different ways.

Interview Questions

What are some methods used to analyze internal and external stakeholders in portfolio management?

Some of the methods utilized in portfolio management to analyze internal and external stakeholders include meetings, interviews, and the use of surveys or questionnaires.

How can meetings be used as a technique to understand the expectations of stakeholders in portfolio management?

Meetings are an effective way to discuss, clarify, and align expectations. They can be used to identify stakeholder interests, gather feedback, address any concerns and build a shared understanding of portfolio objectives.

What is the purpose of conducting interviews with stakeholders in portfolio management?

Interviews in portfolio management are conducted to gather detailed insights into a stakeholder’s views about the portfolio, understand their expectations and concerns, and establish their influence on the project’s success.

How are surveys or questionnaires useful in identifying stakeholder interests in portfolio management?

Surveys and questionnaires are useful tools for collecting structured and quantifiable data from a large group of stakeholders. They can help in identifying common themes in stakeholders’ interests and measuring their level of interest or concern about different aspects of the portfolio.

Why is it important to identify stakeholder expectations in portfolio management?

Identifying stakeholder expectations is vital as it helps in aligning the portfolio’s goals and strategies with those expectations, promoting stakeholder engagement, and ensuring the portfolio’s success and acceptance in the organization.

How can stakeholder influence be analyzed and its impact on portfolio success be understood?

Stakeholder influence can be analyzed using stakeholder maps, power-interest grids, or influence lines. Understanding this can help determine how extensively a stakeholder’s actions or decisions may affect the success of portfolio projects.

What is the role of stakeholder expectations in the successful management of a portfolio?

Stakeholder expectations play a critical role in successful portfolio management. If expectations are met or exceeded, it can lead to stakeholder satisfaction, increased support, and contribution to the success of the portfolio.

What is stakeholder influence in terms of portfolio management?

In terms of portfolio management, stakeholder influence refers to the capacity of a stakeholder to affect the portfolio’s objectives, strategies, or outcomes, either directly or indirectly.

How can external stakeholder expectations be effectively managed in portfolio management?

Through clear communication, transparency, frequent updates, and involvement in decision-making. This can help to manage their expectations and align them with portfolio objectives.

Why do internal and external stakeholder interests need to be balanced in portfolio management?

Balancing internal and external stakeholder interests is crucial to ensure that project choices align with stakeholder expectations, minimizing conflicts, enhancing satisfaction, and increasing the chances of portfolio success.

How can you identify the level of stakeholder interest in portfolio management?

The level of stakeholders’ interest can be identified through various techniques like stakeholder interviews, surveys, direct observations, and active involvement in portfolio activities and meetings.

How does clear communication influence stakeholder expectations, interests, and their influence on the portfolio?

Clear communication helps in disseminating accurate information about portfolio objectives, progress, and challenges. It aids in managing stakeholder expectations, keeping their interests aligned with the portfolio and confirming their influence is understood and addressed.

In what ways can stakeholders influence the success of the portfolio?

Stakeholders can influence the success of the portfolio through their approval, support, or opposition to portfolio decisions and directions. They can influence resource allocation, strategic alignment, risk tolerance, and benchmark success.

How are stakeholder mapping and power-interest grids useful in portfolio management stakeholder analysis?

Stakeholder mapping and power-interest grids help identify stakeholders, illustrate their level of power and interest, and highlight those stakeholders who need to be actively managed for the portfolio’s success.

Why is analyzing stakeholder influence essential in portfolio management?

Analyzing stakeholder influence is crucial in portfolio management as it helps identify who can dramatically affect the portfolio’s outcomes and thus should be closely managed, ensuring the successful delivery of portfolio objectives.

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