Five Steps To Introduce Planned Change – Step 2

Background

The following five steps are needed to be followed to implement Planned Change to an Organization:

  • Identify the Change
  • Engage Stakeholders (This Entry)
  • Develop The Project Team
  • Implement The Change
  • Monitor and Sustain The Change

Today, I will be writing today about the first of five steps: Engage Stakeholders.

Engage Stakeholders

One of the roles I play as a project manager is to introduce technology changes into the organization.  I will refer to the person leading the change as the Change Agent.

The second step of Planned Change is to engage the stakeholders that are affected by the change.  It is important to determine which of the stakeholders will be able to help you implement the change.  The following list of four questions will help to guide you towards the stakeholders that will help you implement the change:

  1. Who are the sponsors of the change and how do we move their commitment from words to actions?
  2. Who will guide people through the change process and what is their change expertise?
  3. Who must change, what will be different for them, how can we involve them in the process, and what can we learn from their reactions?
  4. Who are the early adopters who model change in the preferred direction?

Stakeholder Relationships

The Change Agent needs to have an awareness of the possible relationships the stakeholders may have in relation to the change that is being implemented.   The following diagram will provide you some insight into this information:

It is important to identify the stakeholders that are supporters and allies of change.  The change agent will need to plan for how they can move the stakeholders that are Opponents and Adversaries to become Supporters and Allies. 

Questions to Evaluate Stakeholders

The Change Agent needs to be aware of where the stakeholders are relative to the change they want to introduce.  The following are a set of questions that you should use to determine the position of the stakeholders:

  1. Do the stakeholders understand why the change is necessary and important?
  2. Do the Sponsors show public and private support for the change?
  3. Do the Sponsors understand what it will take to change and provide resources to do so?
  4. Are the Sponsors involved in making the change happen, e.g., regularly reviewing progress?

Conclusion

I have always found implementing change a very challenging task.  I hope this entry helps you to understand the information in being able to “Engage Stakeholders”.  This is the second of five (5) blog entries on the topic of Planned Change.  I will continue this topic with three (3) additional blog entries to provide more details of the planning process.    

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