Managing stakeholders through change? Understand their stories and tailor your approach

If you work in projects or the delivery of change, you probably use tools to help analyse and categorise your stakeholders (normally a spreadsheet or a quadrant mapping tool) based on how much they are affected and how much they can influence a change. Project managers and change practitioners know that stakeholders all come with their own history and expectations, and the better this is understood, the more effective our engagement strategies will be. The trick is to engage stakeholders in ways that are relevant for them, and practical, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Stakeholder analysis and mapping tools are great, but if you want to make it personal, add stories.

arestakeholdersequal picDiscover your stakeholders’ stories

Stories are a handy way to think through the unique positioning of each stakeholder group and fashion the right engagement approaches. Try this:

  1. Tell a ‘now’ story that represents a typical person within the stakeholder group, and
  2. Make up a ‘future’ story for them that is an ideal change outcome.

You’ll be surprised how much this can inform your selection of strategies that will work for this stakeholder group. Here’s an example:




Our latest animated Sticky Story – Are all our stakeholders equal?

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 1.51.33 PMOur newest Sticky Story is all about understanding that stakeholders don’t all have an equal ‘stake’ in a project or program, and our approaches to working with them are tailored, based on what they want, and what the program needs from them too. Are all our stakeholders equal? Is part of our limited Free to Play’ selection – these can be played via our site at no cost, and downloaded at a third of our normal price!