You can learn a lot about stakeholder perceptions when you are mapping the current situation. In fact, you might even interview selected stakeholders during that step.
As a structured activity, the stakeholder assessment is an opportunity to have a conversation and consider what you are learning about stakeholders in your planned change and what they might think about it.
There are at least three elements in this assessment:
- Who are they? Create a list of stakeholders. This could include individuals, teams/departments, other organizations.
- If your list is very long, you can cluster related stakeholders into groups.
- What are their interests? Explore what you know about their needs, interests, and any past/current dynamics with them.
- Why are they a stakeholder in this change?
- What might they want from any changes in the situation?
- How to engage them? As a change leader, you benefit from knowing where your support lies, as well as who might be neutral or even opposed to the changes.
- Can they be influenced to increase support and lower opposition?
- How can you approach them to make this happen?
As with many other tools for leading change, it is best to approach this as a collaborative task. This can be the change team, and it can include the stakeholders themselves.
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