As you embark on implementing a change in your organization, it’s important to identify who will be impacted – not just those who are the primary targets of the change, but others in your organization who are impacted by or who have an impact on the change. There may be many individuals or groups who may not be obvious stakeholders in your project whom you need to address and influence. If you don’t, your change initiative may create some unexpected collateral damage.
One way to map out your stakeholders is by Impact Zone, which tells you the ultimate level of involvement in the change. The following is a list of people to consider as stakeholders of your change, categorized into three impact zones:
Primary Impact Zone – Those Who DO
The people in your organization who are closest to the change and most involved with the work that will change are in the Primary Impact Zone. These are the people who:
Do the Work – Who are the ones who most need to change the way they work in order for the change to happen?
Use the Outputs – Who uses the outputs of the work that is changing?
Are Affected by the Outcome – Who will be affected if you achieve the desired outcome of the change? Who will be affected if you don’t?
Provide the Inputs – Who supplies those who do the work with something that will affect the ability to change?
Secondary Impact Zone – Those Who SUPPORT
Those people who support the work and the change are in the Secondary Impact Zone. Make no mistake, though, those in this zone can have a significant affect on the organization’s ability to change. These are the people who:
Manage the Work – Who are the ones who have authority over the people and processes in the Primary Impact Zone?
Fund the Work – Who has spending authority and can make decisions that affect the ability to implement the change?
Regulate the Work – How do rules and regulations impact the ability to change, and who has the authority to apply or change the rules?
Support the Work – Who else supports the work that will change?
Tertiary Impact Zone – Those Who SEE
Other people in your organization may not be involved in or support the work, but they will be affected by what they see happening. How they experience change events may affect their own work and their trust in the organization. The people in this Tertiary Impact Zone are more impacted by the change than they have an impact on the change. These are the people who:
See the Work – Who will be impacted by what they see happening with this change?
Do Similar Work – Who else in your organization does similar work and may feel uneasy or unfair when they see the changes?
Identifying your stakeholders is an important first step in developing your approach to change. Use the Change Impact Map to help pinpoint those who will be affected by the change, those who will have an impact on the change, and those who will watch the change happen.
Who else would you add to these three Change Impact Zones?