So how do you get the “right” list? You need to cast the net wide and then funnel to the correct list by asking the following questions.
Who should be engaged? Why? Carefully think through the list of stakeholders. Some need to be on this list because they have something to say. Others can clear hurdles. Others can be prevented from throwing stones.
How should they be engaged, i.e. what role will they play? Some will be on the core team. Some will be informed. Some will attend key presentations.
When should they be engaged? Some will be engaged throughout the process and some others will come in at key points. Understanding who comes into the picture when will help craft communications to them.
Often, the answer is not a whittled down list but a cube with three dimensions, stakeholder, medium and timing.
When it comes to communications, our focus is on emails, reports, presentations. Often, the same tools are applied for the entire audience without discretion.
Communications need to be personalized. Timing, medium and content must be tailored to the audience. For example,
CEOs must be interviewed to get their perspective. In fact, they should be one of the first, if not the first, people to be interviewed. They must be kept in the loop continuously throughout the process:
The CFO must also be interviewed and get the same written communications as the CEO. However, do they need to be met with monthly to get their perspective on key deliverables? Perhaps. Similarly, the head of HR needs to be interviewed and receive written communications. Do we meet with them monthly on IT strategy?
Personalized communications are invaluable to the success of an IT strategy initiative. But communications are not just written or spoken words as in emails and presentations. Communications is also about getting active participation of the key stakeholders.
Because there is no such thing as a perfect IT strategy, an IT strategy is created and continuously refined. Engagement of key stakeholders ensures that we make progress!
Sourabh Hajela is a management consultant and trainer with over 17 years of experience creating shareholder value for his Fortune 50 clients. His consulting practice is focused on IT strategy, alignment and ROI. For more information, please visit www.StartSmartS.com. Or feel free to contact Sourabh at [email protected] or post your questions atwww.StartSmartS.com/forums/index.asp.