Consider this. Changes don’t occur in a vacuum. To be successful, you must involve the right people at the right time. Follow these steps to identify and engage the right stakeholders.
1. Identify Project Stakeholders
Stakeholders are your key customers and suppliers. This can include:
- Aanyone who relies on the output of what’s being changed
- Anyone whose support or lack of support contributes to the success or failure of the change
- The people responsible for completing the work
Depending on the project scope, the stakeholders can cross multiple organizational levels.
2. Assign Stakeholders to a Group
Next, segment yours stakeholders into five groups: responsible, helps, permits, questions, and unaware. Here’s what those groups names really mean:
- Responsible: Must have involvement to be successful
- Helps: Needs role-based assistance
- Permits: Doesn’t help or hinder the change
- Questions: Questions, has reservations, or actively resists the change
- Unware: Unaware of the change effort
3. Determine Action Steps
Finally, once a stakeholder has been assigned to a group, determine the necessary actions steps as follows:
- Is it okay if the stakeholder stays in the assigned group, or is movement to a new group required? For example, a stakeholder moves from Unaware to Helps or from Questions to Permits.
- If movement is required, what actions steps need to be taken to achieve the desired
Remember, not all stakeholders are created equally, so focus your efforts on the stakeholders
who will have the most influence
Stakeholders are an important component of every project. Determining how and with whom to devote your time and attention can be invaluable.
About the Author
Heather Segelke is highly skilled in organization change management. She co-founded 6th Level Consulting Group and is currently a Managing Partner.