DTF Stakeholder Engagement Planning Toolkit 2013
For further information or assistance, contact Kerri Bradley (DTF Stakeholder Program) 9651 5377
Stakeholder engagement at DTF About this Toolkit The DTF Stakeholder Engagement Toolkit, which includes a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Template D10/85048 , is designed to help you develop a plan for engaging stakeholders effectively. Prior to using the Toolkit, you may want to review the DTF Stakeholder Engagement Guide (D10/409391), which provides an overview of DTFâ€™s approach and principles for stakeholder engagement. Both the guide and toolkit aim to support you in managing your relationships with stakeholders throughout the engagement process and encourage a consistent experience for our stakeholders for the way in which we engage with them. If you are engaging stakeholders as part of a significant change program or activity, refer to the DTF Change Management Toolkit D10/22615.
When do you need an engagement plan? A stakeholder engagement plan is typically developed for the following situations:
To support policy development, from consultation processes through to implementation As part of planning, implementing and evaluating projects; and To support change activity or process A stakeholder engagement plan may also be developed by those with relationship management accountabilities as a core part of their role, to help continually develop and improve relationships with stakeholders.
Stakeholder Engagement Process – A Step by Step Guide Many aspects of relationship management are intuitive. However, applying a more strategic approach (a plan with clear objectives, milestones and an evaluation) is more likely to result in effective ongoing relationships to realise longer term benefits for DTF and our stakeholders. The diagram below provides a summary of the key steps involved in developing a stakeholder engagement plan for either a project or to help guide ongoing engagement activities. You can use the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Template (D10/85048) as a tool to work through this process and document your plan.
Steps in engagement process
Phase 1 – Goal Setting & Analysis 1. Understand the context and purpose of engagement
Phase 2 – Planning Engagement
5. Develop engagement objectives
2. Assess the main engagement risks and opportunities
6. Determine engagement strategy and messages
3. Identify and prioritise stakeholders
7. Determine engagement tools, resources, timing
4. Analyse stakeholders
Phase 3 – Implement & Review
8. Implement engagement plan/review progress
Phase 4 – Evaluation
9. Evaluate success and lessons learned
Symbols used in guide Refer to relevant business documents
Tools available to support step Ideas to consider
Tips to complete this step
Phase 1 – Goal Setting and Analysis Project Plans Step 1.
Understand context and engagement purpose
Stakeholder engagement is not usually an activity within itself, but one which contributes to the achievement of broader project, activity or organisational goals. Consider why you are engaging with the stakeholders and what contribution a successful engagement process will make to the specific business or project goals. This is also an opportunity to identify which aspects of the project or activity are ‘negotiable’ and ‘not negotiable’ in terms of what the stakeholders can influence; this will help determine the “levels of engagement” that are most appropriate. Consider the following in your plans for engaging stakeholders: −
Are you committing to keep them informed of progress?
Are you committing to listen to their ideas?
Are you committing to work with your stakeholders to find solutions?
Refer to your project plan goals for guidance about the value and purpose of engagement.
Change management and stakeholders If you are engaging stakeholders as part of a significant change program or activity, refer to the DTF Change Management Toolkit D10/22615
DTF Strategies and Frameworks Consider DTF strategic business goals and the frameworks that would influence engagement objectives such as: oDTF Strategic Plan and Business Plan oCulture and leadership strategies (including change principles) oKnowledge management strategies oCorporate communication strategies oStakeholder relationship strategies Further information on these strategies and frameworks is available via DTF’s TreasuryNet.
Tip: Changing engagement levels Keep in mind that the level of engagement you select for your stakeholders may change as the project progresses, so continually revisit your plan and update accordingly
Phase 1 – Goal Setting and Analysis
Step 2. Identify engagement risks and opportunities A risk management plan for the engagement component of should be in place at the onset of engagement. This plan should be monitored and reviewed while consulting with the stakeholders, as risks can fluctuate, change, or become more or less important. Consider these questions: − What are the risks of engagement with stakeholders? − What are the risks of not engaging with stakeholders? − What are the risks of engaging ineffectively?
At the same time, clearly identify and continually capitalise on opportunities for both your own work and the stakeholders. Apply standard risk management processes to your engagement planning, including identifying, assessing, prioritising and treating risks. Risks need to be managed and updated throughout the engagement process through consulting and communicating with stakeholders and monitoring and reviewing the process.
DTF risk management frameworks Managing stakeholder engagement risks requires applying the same risk management process as you would for any other risk. Refer to DTF’s Risk Management Framework for guidance: D10/50212
Phase 1 – Goal Setting and Analysis Brainstorming Sessions
Identify and prioritise stakeholders
The next step of Stakeholder Engagement analysis involves identifying and prioritising key stakeholders. Stakeholders can be identified by a number of criteria or “segmentation” methods; for example by organisation, position, attitudes or demographics. It may be useful to apply a combination of these segmentation classifications depending on the project/activity approach and engagement goals (see step 1). As a starting point, refer to the DTF definition of what a stakeholder is (see DTF Stakeholder Engagement Guideand consider who might fall into this category and create a list of stakeholders. In identifying your stakeholders consider the following: − Legitimacy of the stakeholder – what interest can the stakeholder claim in the activities or project? Who will be impacted by the activities or project directly or indirectly? Who may be excluded from participating? − Power – what power does the stakeholder have to influence the outcome of the activities or project? Are they are decision maker or can they influence decision making? Who controls the resources? − Urgency – what imperative is there for engaging with the stakeholder?
Bringing together a diverse group of people who have knowledge of the project/activity is useful for identifying and prioritising stakeholders.
Stakeholder maps and matrices Drafting a map, illustrating key stakeholders and their relationship to each other is an effective way of identifying all relevant stakeholders. Plotting stakeholders according to the degree of influence and the level of interest they are likely to have (Johnson and Scholes) model helps to prioritise the levels of efforts in managing engagement with different stakeholders. A matrix template is available D09/89304 or complete as part of the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Template (D12/229624)
Consider applicable policies In determining who you may need to engage or consult, consider policies or legislation that applies to public sector employees in Victoria: oVPS Code of Conduct oAccessibility Policies oVictoria’s Charter of Human Rights Further information on these policies is available via DTF’s TreasuryNet.
Tip: Scope of stakeholder identification Ensure the scope of your strategy is practical to implement. One way to help determine the scope is to prioritise the stakeholders. See Stakeholder maps and matrices above.
Phase 1 – Goal Setting and Analysis Step 4.
Harness existing knowledge
Analyse and profile the stakeholders
Once you have listed and prioritised your stakeholders, you need to explore issues and attitudes that are likely to influence your approach and content of engagement. This is one of the most fundamental steps in your engagement process, as it determines the messaging and strategy to achieve your engagement objectives. The more robust the analysis, the greater the chance the strategy applied will be effective. This step requires “getting into the minds” of the stakeholder, considering all the various influences on their awareness and attitudes about the project/activity, and also, what are their broader current priorities, challenges and interests are to see if you can connect these to the benefits of your project /activity. To profile your stakeholders consider the following: − How much do they know about the project/activity? − What are their attitudes toward the project/activity at this stage? − What are the stakeholder’s communication preferences? − What have we communicated to them so far about the project/activity? − What regular forums or tools currently used by the stakeholder could we use as part of our engagement plan? − What are the stakeholder’s current priorities, challenges, interests, concerns more broadly? − What is their readiness to engage? − What are their communication preferences?
Conduct high-level stakeholder assessment with staff in DTF familiar with the project/activity or with those who deal regularly with the stakeholders you have identified.
Review DTF quarterly stakeholder reports Review DTF quarterly stakeholder reports to determine whether others are currently dealing with one of your stakeholders on another matter, and any issues or opportunities associated. (See Trim folder F12/1666)
Research stakeholders Review DTF’s biennial stakeholder relationship survey results for insights about our relationship with stakeholder organisations. F09/501) Use TRIM to search files that may relate to the stakeholder or issue. Consider the value of conducting your own specific research on the stakeholders’ views on your project or activity; this may be informal or a more formal activity. You may need to take this to the DTF Research Sub-Committee.
Stakeholder Analysis Table
Use the stakeholder analysis table in the stakeholder engagement plan template to analyse your stakeholders and determine an appropriate level of engagement. D12/229624
Phase 1 – Goal Setting and Analysis
Step 4. (cont) Determine status of stakeholder relationship
DTF Stakeholder Engagement Plans
The effectiveness of an engagement activity can be greatly influenced by the quality of the existing relationship DTF has with the stakeholder.
Refer to the DTF Stakeholder Engagement Plan for information about other DTF contacts and projects that are taking place in the Department. F09/1238
To identify what other activities or contacts need to be considered to help in your engagement planning, consider the following questions: −
Is this a new relationship or well established?
Will the relationship be ongoing or only active for the life of the project?
What is the stakeholder’s general view about their relationship with DTF or those involved in the project/activity?
Who else in DTF may have an effective relationship with the stakeholder that I may be able to leverage?
Who else in DTF is planning on dealing with the stakeholder at the same time as your project/activity engagement – will this affect their interest or attitudes?
What other activities is DTF planning at the time of my project/activity that may adversely or positively impact on my engagement implementation?
Harness existing knowledge Consider bringing together key people in DTF who are dealing or about engage the stakeholders you are targeting and map out together how you will coordinate your contact and requests.
Tip: Impacts of other DTF relationships At least 25% of DTF’s individual stakeholders deal with one or more Divisions within the Department.* Consider the impacts of the engagement and communication activities that other areas of DTF may be implementing at the same time as your project/activity. This can also help ensure DTF delivers coordinated, consistent and integrated communications to stakeholders. *Based on DTF stakeholder database records produced for the DTF stakeholder survey 2009.
Phase 2â€“ Planning Engagement Step 5. Develop engagement strategy Developing the engagement strategy involves some key steps:
ď ‚ Tip: Determining the best engagement
a) Develop engagement objectives Engagement objectives may apply to several stakeholders or perhaps relevant to one or a few. The strategy starts with considering what the engagement goals are and to which stakeholders they apply to, considering the current levels of awareness, understanding and attitudes toward the project/activity.
The plan of action to be developed for engaging is determined by considering what is needed to move the key stakeholder/s from their current situation with regard to the activity (as identified through the detailed analysis in phase 1) to the desired position, as defined in the engagement goals.
b) Determine level of engagement required to achieve the objectives Using the IAP2 participation spectrum as a guide (see Appendix 1), specify what level of engagement is required with the stakeholder to achieve the engagement goals. c) Develop strategies to meet individual objective The strategy may be specific to one stakeholder because of their unique situation in relation to the project/activity, or it may apply to a number of stakeholders who share similar issues, understanding or other aspects identified in the stakeholder analysis. The level of engagement required influences the type of strategy required (ie: whether opportunities created for feedback, participation in developing content etc).
strategy for all stakeholders
ď ‚ Tip: Clarifying rules of engagement It is important to define the rules of engagement with stakeholders up front. In the initial stages of the engagement define your work, position, the reasons for dialogue, and the capacity to meet stakeholder needs. The stakeholder must know the rules of engagement and also the limitations. To clarify this issue you can explain the policy and legislation framework and how it applies to your engagement. It is important that you identify with stakeholders which elements or policies cannot be changed, so they do not think that they have been misled or their consultative views have been worthless.
Phase 2– Planning Engagement Step 6. Determine engagement messages The messages to the stakeholder support the engagement goals and “plan of action” to influence the stakeholder to move from their current situation with regard to the activity (as identified through the detailed analysis in phase 1) to the desired position, as defined in the engagement goals. Messages should be relevant and timely. If a call to action is required from the stakeholder, make it clear and consider what other pressures they may be under that could affect their capacity to respond. Typically messages will include the “what”, “when”, “where”, “how” and “why” of the project or activity as they relate to the stakeholder. Avoid including irrelevant or superfluous detail. Consider these questions when developing your messaging: −
What does your stakeholder need to know and want to know?
Have your messages taken into consideration the stakeholder’s current situation, issues or pressures?
What can you say in your message that they are likely to respond to?
Have you made the benefits clear (what’s in it for both parties)?
What are the “rules of engagement” that the stakeholder needs to be aware of up front? What can they influence? What is out of scope?
Tip: Clarifying “rules of engagement”
The messages to the stakeholder should be tailored to suit their situation and mindset – not just what we want to “tell” them about our activity (remember the WIIFM principle!). For example those with low awareness about the activity may need more background information; those not very supportive of the activity may need messages that highlight benefits to them specifically.
Phase 2– Planning Engagement
Step 7. Determine engagement tools, resources and timing The methods used to deliver messages and engage stakeholders are determined by: o the level of engagement sought (see page 6 of guide) and; o the communication preferences of stakeholders identified.
Use the information collected about your stakeholders’ communication preferences from phase 1 (analysis of your stakeholders) to determine whether you can use existing forums they are currently using or whether you need to create new methods to achieve the engagement goal and deliver your messages effectively. For the activity schedule you will need to determine: − who will coordinate each activity? − what resources/skills are needed to deliver? Will they be sourced in-house or is external expertise needed? − when will the activities be implemented and who will implement them? − what is the budget needed for the activities? − Is it more cost effective and influential to tap into using existing stakeholder communication forums or create new ones specifically for your needs?
Tip: Determining the best engagement tools
As a general principle, the higher the level of engagement required, the more engagement should focus on face-to-face or other highly dynamic and interactive methods of two way communication.
Tip: Determining the skill sets needed
It is important to consider the individual skills and capacities needed to deliver your planned engagement and areas of improvement. Ideally you should have people who offer complementary skills and capacity to help with engagement.
Phase 3– Implementation
Step 8. Implement engagement plan and review progress Once the plan has been developed, it can then be implemented. But it is important to remember that any plan should be living and fluid, adapting to any changing circumstances or information that comes to light in the process of implementation. For this reason, regular monitoring and review throughout the implementation process is critical. Updates to the plan should be shared among those who are responsible for delivery.
Tip: Good communication
Communication should be open and honest and keep stakeholders updated as information comes to hand. Providing reasons where possible as to why decisions are made will also help maintain more effective relationships. Engagement is a two way activity and if stakeholders invest time and other resources to contribute to our activities, and we wish them to continue to do so, it is important to respond to that input. Where possible, stakeholders should be informed of the impact of their contribution, if only in a generic way.
The Engaging for Results section of the Capabilities and Behaviours Framework outlines some of the more significant levels of skills and behaviours to apply when engaging stakeholders.
Tip: DTF culture and engagement
DTF is committed to demonstrating constructive behaviours in all interactions, whether dealing with colleagues, internal and external stakeholders to the Department. Regardless of the cultural influences that impact on our stakeholders’ behaviour when dealing with us, all DTF staff should apply constructive behaviours in all interactions with stakeholders.
Phase 4â€“ Evaluation
Step 9. Evaluate engagement and share lessons learned Measuring performance in stakeholder engagement is difficult and sometimes quite subjective. At the beginning of the process, however, you should decide how you are going to determine whether your engagement was, or is, working and what benefits were/are being achieved. If the outcome is less than satisfactory all parts of the process should be reviewed to find where it could be changed. Reflecting on the lessons learned, insights and agreements from the engagement process with those involved and documenting those findings will help refine and improve the effectiveness of future engagement activities with our stakeholders. All information gained from the consultation should be brought together in a formal evaluation. Periodically, and especially following major engagements, we should review, and if needed revise, our stakeholder maps, strategy, objectives and scope, plans and performance measures.
ď ‚ Tip: Capturing and sharing knowledge about stakeholders for the future
As DTF deals regularly with the same stakeholder organisations, a solid body of knowledge about the details and success of engagement programs will also help make it quicker and easier to gather information at the early stages of engagement planning.
Appendix 1 â€“ IAP2 Engagement Spectrum Level of impact LOW
Level of Engagement
Examples of Tools
Provide stakeholder with balanced and objective information about the activity to assist them in understanding the issues, needs etc
Baseline for all stakeholders. Initial phase of any engagement when there is no awareness of the project/activity. This will be the limit of engagement if project/activity has not-negotiable aspects.
Fact sheets, emails, websites, newsletters
Gain stakeholder feedback on analysis, decisions or alternatives as part of project/activity. Acknowledge input and demonstrate how it influenced the final outcome/deliverables.
Applicable if there are minimal negotiable aspects to the project/activity. Stakeholder views may inform final decision making, selection of solutions or finalising details.
Focus groups, surveys, meetings, online tools
Work directly with stakeholder throughout the process of the activity to ensure their concerns and aspirations are understood, considered and reflected as part of decision making and the final outcome/deliverables.
Applicable if there are several negotiable aspects to the project/activity and the stakeholderâ€™s support is important for decision making or implementation.
Workshops, interviews, social media
Partner with stakeholders to deliver activity, seeking their advice and input into decision making and solutions, and using this to the fullest extent in the final deliverables.
Applicable if there are many negotiable aspects to the project/activity, and implementation is highly dependent on stakeholders making decisions, providing expertise and knowledge or input that greatly affects the outcome of the project/activity.
Interdepartmental work groups, cross team work groups, workshops, online forums
Provide stakeholders with the support to make final decisions on the final deliverables, which will be implemented.
Applicable if all aspects of the project/activity are negotiable and fully dependent on stakeholders making the final decisions and how it will be conducted.
Delegated decisions, ballots
*Based on IAP2 public participation spectrum.
Stakeholder engagement template