5 steps to better stakeholder management

1.  Identify the stakeholders who will help you fulfil your goals

Who are the influencers and key players who can help you get things done, and who can prevent plans from being realised?

How are you supporting the current higher strategic goals of your institution or those of your library? Whose gains or pains are you trying to address? Who your allies in getting things done, and who do you really depend on? Who are not yet your allies and who are absolutely crucial to gain the funding or take-up you need to move forward with your new idea?

List the ones that will help you achieve or obstruct your aims for the coming period by using a mapping software like MindManager or by drawing a mind map.

Proud2Know Stakeholder Map Plot2.  Create a stakeholder matrix

Next, plot your stakeholders by name and/or function on a matrix graph to reveal and/or visualise who your influential stakeholders are and where they stand in relation to your new process, policy, project or service.

  • Key players have the most influence and interest in what you do.
  • Influencers have less interest in your initiative at this stage but they are influential so important to convert.
  • Your Fans are keen followers but lack influence to have a significant effect on what you plan to do.
  • The Curious are stakeholders with less power and less interest in your initiative.

3.  Create a short stakeholder summary

Create a short stakeholder matrix summary and prioritise each stakeholder based on their influence and interest. List your Key Players and Influencers first. This will help you prioritise who you invest your efforts in first, where the most efforts will be put into your Influencers with less interest but power.

4.  Create a detailed stakeholder analysis

The next step is to create a more detailed stakeholder analysis together with the team who is involved in your new initiative. This will provide you with a concrete strategy for how to communicate with whom to achieve your goals in growing the content of your repository. Here, you take each stakeholder separately, analyse their needs, priorities, concerns, their impact on you, your impact on them, and conclude with a win-win argument based on this knowledge. Discussing your stakeholders in this way will help you target them much more effectively. The benefits for your stakeholder or his/her concerns will become much more transparent.

5.  Create a stakeholder communication plan

From your detailed stakeholder analysis, you have learnt more about what kind of an effect your stakeholder may have on your initiative and it on them.
This information will now help you determine what is best to communicate to your stakeholder, and how. Define your communication strategy here to form your Stakeholder Communication Plan.

For a concrete example on how to use this method, see a previous blog on 5 stakeholder management steps to growing your open access repository

Analysing your stakeholders in this way can help you prepare for conversations with them. They are more likely to help you if you address things from their perspective.

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