Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #14 Stakeholder Identification and Planning

February 15, 2015

“I know that our strategy is going to make significant changes to the way we work around here. And I know that there will be a lot of resistance. What can I do to ensure that our strategy actually becomes a reality?”

#14: Stakeholder Identification and Planning

What is Stakeholder Identification and Planning?

A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the results of your change. In a business situation, stakeholders could include employees, management, unions, customers, suppliers, the board of directors, shareholders, community interest groups and government regulatory authorities.

Shareholder Identification and Planning is the process of determining whom your stakeholders are, learning what their needs and perspectives are, and planning how to address them in your project design and implementation.

Gaining support for any change is critical, even when you are the boss and have ultimate decision making authority.

When to use Stakeholder Identification and Planning

  • Before your potential change starts, and along each phase of the project’s implementation
  • When your projects have a history of failing due to unexpected or under managed resistance

How to use Stakeholder Identification and Planning

  1. Identify those who will be affected (stakeholders). This can be done individually or with a group of people such as your project team.
  2. Determine the stakeholders’ issues. Understanding the issues of stakeholders can be accomplished through individual interviews, focus groups, questionnaires or road shows.
  3. Determine how best to address those issues. Incorporate appropriate actions into your overall project plan. Prioritize issues as required.
  4. Plan how to involve key stakeholders in the change effort in order to maximize acceptance and minimize resistance. For example, including stakeholder representatives on your project team, or planning for communication during key milestones in your project.

NOTE: Force Field Analysis is a tool that could be used by stakeholder group.

In Summary:

Without paying attention to each stakeholder group impacted by your decision and its implementation, your results will be suboptimal at best.

  1. Identify those who will be affected.
  2. Determine the stakeholders’ issues.
  3. Determine how best to address those issues
  4. Plan how to involve key stakeholders in the change.



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