Effectively Engaging Stakeholders
The third step on the path to success is to effectively engage stakeholders. A stakeholder is anyone who will experience change because of your project or who has the ability to influence the outcome of your project. The keywords here are impact and influence.

The Impact Assessment, described in Step 2, is a tool to identify the type and degree of change and the areas and individuals affected. You can identify the high influence stakeholders by asking who has the power – whether formal or informal – to prevent your project from achieving success. Your Stakeholder Engagement Plan established the timeline, defines key objectives and describes the approach to involving the high impact/high influence stakeholders throughout the project.

Communication alone is not sufficient to achieve the level of support and preparation high impact/high influence stakeholders require for your project to be successful. Engaging the right stakeholders at the right time in the right way creates an opportunity for them to take ownership of the outcome. They become part of what is happening instead of an observer or a victim of what will be different. We are less likely to resist what we have a voice in creating.


1. Categorize you stakeholders by level of impact and location or function. This facilitates more efficient planning and scheduling. You may want to engage all high impact/high influence stakeholders across functions in one session or tailor your engagement to a specific location or job role. Either way can work. You have to decide what will work best in your culture.

2. Establish the engagement timeline to support key milestones throughout the project implementation timeline. If your project is 12 months or longer, you may want monthly engagements the first few months and then more frequent engagement as you get closer to execution.

3. Define the engagement objective for each group and each engagement. Your objectives will likely move up the involvement scale beginning with achieving understanding, then building agreements, next obtaining alignment and ultimately cascading ownership from the project team to key influencers to sustain change after the project ends.

4. Design the session to achieve your objective. Some sessions may be an hour. Some may be a full day.

With each engagement session you are increasing support and surfacing issues that you can address to reduce resistance. Engaging your stakeholders effectively, will keep you on the path to success.

Copyright ©2020 *Rita Burgett-Martell; Organizational Change Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Personal Coach — Strategic Transformations Consulting Inc.

Article Source: https://ritaburgettmartell.wordpress.com

Author's Bio: 

Over the past 30 years, Rita Burgett-Martell has provided career and change management coaching to thousands of individuals across multiple industries, professions, and countries. She is the author of two books: “Change Ready! How To Transform Change Resistance To Change Readiness: A Manager's Guide To Managing and Sustaining Change in the 21st Century Workplace” and “Defining Moments: Seizing the Power of Change to Create the Life You Want.”

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