Identify your impacted stakeholders early… and refine throughout the change journey

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This is the fourth post in my series/ journey to build a software application to serve organizations, groups and individuals on large change initiativess. You can read my first 3 posts here:
1. Intro to ChangeMachineTM
2. Digitizing the change management workflow
3. Are your change objectives S.M.A.R.T.?

This post focuses on identifying impacted stakeholders early and refining your analysis along the change journey.

Don’t you hate it when you are scrambling at the last minute to get “forgotten” stakeholders to adopt your new solution? Educating these forgotten stakeholders on decisions that have been made without them can be tedious at best and unsuccessful at worst. Identifying all impacted stakeholders early, however, is not as easy as it seems. As the solution pervades an organization, new stakeholders will emerge and need to be incorporated into the change plan. This is why stakeholder analysis should be done at the beginning of a project and continuously reviewed to incorporate these new or forgotten stakeholders. Think of stakeholder analysis as an ongoing and evolving process that begins early in the initiative and is further refined as momentum and early project milestones are achieved. This train of thought will preserve your sanity.

At the beginning of an initiative, I make an early attempt to identify employees that are impacted by an upcoming change. I do this by recreating the organizational chart on an 11×17 sheet of paper and highlighting all impacted departments right down to the individuals. I also attach a few comments to each of the impacted groups, describing and summarizing the intensity of the change per group. Dissecting each of the stakeholder groups can be done by working through the following elements:
1) How will the change impact each of the specific stakeholder groups?
2) How will the stakeholders benefit from the change?
3) What are the required contributions to reach the target benefits?
4) What are the KPIs/ measurements that are relevant for each of the stakeholder groups?
**Continue performing this exercise as new stakeholders are uncovered.

Equipped with this data, you have enough information to begin moving each of the stakeholder groups through general change management milestones:
Milestone 1: stakeholders are aware of the upcoming change
Milestone 2: stakeholders understand what is changing and how they are going to change
Milestone 3: stakeholders have acquired new capabilities to work with new solution
Milestone 4: new behaviors are stabilized (no regression)

I’ve been able to digitize the stakeholder analysis process in my ChangeMachineTM application. This helps me hit the ground running when conducting an impacted-stakeholder-analysis exercise. Check out my video below for a quick tutorial:

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Additional posts/videos of the ChangeMachineTM
1. Intro to ChangeMachineTM
2. Digitizing the change management workflow
3. Are your change objectives S.M.A.R.T.?
4. Identify your impacted stakeholders early…

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