Every change (and lets be frank, most everything involves change) requires understanding the individuals and groups that will participate or are affected – directly or indirectly.
Stakeholder analysis involves identifying the stakeholders and analyzing their various characteristics. These characteristics can include:
Level of authority within the organization and the domain of change
Attitudes toward or interest in the change
Attitudes towards the process
Level of decision-making authority
The goal of stakeholder analysis is to choose the best collaboration and communication approaches and to appropriately plan for stakeholder risks.
There are a variety of mechanisms for doing this and then mapping it out.
Start by brainstorming a list of the stakeholders by answering these questions:
Who will be impacted?
Who will be responsible or accountable
Who will have decision authority
Who can support
Who can obstruct
Who has been involved in something similar in the past?
Map these on a stakeholder matrix based on relative power and interest. This should be an iterative process.
High influence/High Impact: these are key players and effort should be focused here to engage this group regularly
High influence/Low impact: these stakeholders have needs that should be met so engage and consult with them while also attempting to increase their level of interest.
Low influence/High impact: these stakeholders are supporters and potential goodwill ambassadors. Engage the group for their input and show interests in their needs.
Low influence/Low impact: the stakeholders can be kept informed using general communications. Additional targeted engagement may move them into the goodwill ambassador quadrant.
Another way to look at stakeholders is though an onion diagram.
A RACI is another popular way to look at stakeholders.
Once stakeholders are identified is is important to define how communication and engagement will achieved. There is usually no one sized fits all approach and it is important to meet the needs of each stakeholder group to ensure their interest and involvement is maintained. Some considerations include:
timing and frequency
delivery methods (in-person or virtual)
preferences of the stakeholders
geographic considerations or impact
Document this in a communication plan, including:
what needs to be communicated
what is the appropriate delivery method
who the appropriate audience is
when communication should occur
frequency of communication
level of detail appropriate for the communication and stakeholder