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How to identify your key stakeholders (BP)
This best practice provides recommendations to help you identify the key stakeholders in your digital workplace solution.
Within your digital workplace solution, you will have many different stakeholder groups. Each group will have different profiles and needs. These stakeholders are essential to creating and developing a thriving, vibrant, successful solution.
- Who are your key stakeholder groups?
- What goals have been defined for this group?
- What are the risks involved in having groups with varying business needs?
- Have you identified the potential impact or support each stakeholder could generate?
- Have you assessed how each stakeholder is likely to react or respond in various situations?
- How will you engage with users, providers and other stakeholders to recognize the discreet and particular needs of each group?
- How will you ensure that the methods you use are tailored to meet their needs?
Your primary stakeholders are the most important as they will ultimately determine success or failure. They can be a combination of Strategic, Key and Business owners.
Why are they so important? because they are your primary audience - the employees that are directly impacted by the solution. Either they depend on it for their function or they are directly involved in running, building or supporting the solution.
- Executive sponsors
- Project team
- Target audiences
Your secondary stakeholders are those employees who don't depend on the solution on a daily basis to do their jobs or those who depend at least partially on outcomes or benefits generated by the solution.
- Board members
By getting everyone aligned, you virtually eliminate the risk the project getting derailed when groups don't agree on objectives or processes.
- Start by connecting with important decision-makers one at a time
- Make them feel included, head off their worries with a detailed plan, and develop relationships you can rely on in the future
- Win over your stakeholder groups by presenting your plan in the context of your objectives and business benefits
Identify key risks
The demographic makeup of the key stakeholder groups must be considered when designing an online community. Online communities are relatively new in the professional realm so older professionals may rely heavier on conventional means of communication such as email, document sharing (attachments), etc. Younger professionals, considered the Net Generation, might make more significant use of interactive media such as blogs, forums, messaging, commenting, rating, sharing, etc. The specific needs of each stakeholder group must not be overlooked.
Because of the diverse nature of the stakeholder groups, you will have to prioritize features and functionality, and quite possibly, governance practices. It is rarely possible to accommodate all interests, especially in early deployments. However, this is imperative for adoption and sustainability.
Involving members early on in the building process will foster a feeling of "ownership" over the community. This will lead to a greater likelihood of active participation when the community is up and running. Consultation and getting "buy-in" from your stakeholders at the outset will help to avoid feelings of resistance when the community is underway.
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