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Leading Change: Engaging Critical Stakeholders for Project Success

April 2015 Presentation
Marisa Sanchez (Marisa Sanchez Consulting)

Software architects are change leaders, but first they must engage stakeholders. This talk presents a three-step process for stakeholder engagement.


Software Engineering Institute


Software architects, development managers, and other technical managers are change leaders—they have a role to champion change in their organizations. Often technical leaders focus solely on building a great technical solution. In fact, what we know about organizational change is that adoption is based on a variety of factors, of which only one is the quality of the solution. And quality may not even be among the top reasons for change adoption! An essential skill in leading change is stakeholder engagement—identifying stakeholders (those individuals who can affect or be affected by your project), assessing stakeholder influence and support, and engaging your most critical stakeholders for maximum impact.

So how do you get started, and what are the tactics? In this 90-minute hands-on session, participants will use a one-page template to guide them through a three-step process for stakeholder engagement. In the course of completing their own stakeholder engagement plans for a project in which they are currently involved, participants will learn how to identify, assess, and engage stakeholders to increase the likelihood of technical change adoption. What are the major types of stakeholders? Which important stakeholders are often overlooked? Who already supports the change, and who needs to support the change? What are the various engagement strategies that can be employed? Who should engage which stakeholders? The one-page template is available electronically so participants can save their work and be ready to put their plans into action when they get back to the office.