In the 1950s, Richard Beckhard coined the term organizational development. One of his six assumptions about the nature of organizations is that people will support what they help create.


Remember, don’t create in a vacuum! When you have stakeholder buy-in, you have a much easier sale in the end. Be sure to include your attractors, or friends, and detractors, or frenemies, in the creation/input process. Your skeptics will have a much harder time criticizing the outcome because they contributed to the input. Plus, a skeptic’s view can strengthen the outcome by introducing a varying perspective.

Thus, it is important to identify a robust group of stakeholders for all phases of a project. Not only at the onset, but when you are interpreting data you should ask for their insights and thoughts. Because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know!

We follow 3 simple steps to secure stakeholder involvement.

1. Identify ‘Em
2. Get To Know ‘Em
3. Give It To ‘Em
At the onset of any project, build a stakeholder matrix to be sure you engage the RIGHT people on the RIGHT project at the RIGHT time.

1. IDENTIFY ‘Em—Build a Stakeholder Matrix

stakeholder matrix

2. GET TO KNOW ‘EM—Ask the Questions
Once you have your stakeholders secured, here’s a great resource to get to know your stakeholders! This list of questions will help you identify the level of involvement you need from each representative and how you can best meet their needs.

3. GIVE IT TO ‘EM—Build a RACI chart
With every project my team executes, we create a stakeholder matrix and a RACI chart. Once our list of stakeholders is identified, we determine who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed (RACI) for each major task in the project plan.


This way we know who to engage when, and a RACI sets role expectations for each of the stakeholders. They can negotiate more or less involvement when you are creating the RACI.
In the end, the organization will have much more confidence in your project and/or findings if you engage them appropriately and they help you create it.

Data and Decision-Making Requirements
Who Determines Whether You Offer Good Service?
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