Although the need for support on a project is obvious, meeting the needs of each stakeholder group and understanding the important part each person/group plays may get overlooked. Last week I was part of an EdCamp with our Teacher Instructional Coaches and Instructional Technology Staff. It was a great opportunity to get together with colleagues and share ideas on topics of like interest, teaching and learning from one another.
One of the things discussed was the Stakeholder Communication Matrix pictured. A colleague had us work in small groups to think of a project we were currently working on that involves a big change, and then list all of the people and groups that were part of this change. For example, the small group I was with focused on the expansion of our 1:1 iPad program in Minnetonka to grade five classrooms at our elementary schools next year. We will then use iPads 1:1 with all 6,000 grade 5-12 students this fall.
We listed all the different groups involved in this project on a separate Post-It Note, such as the teachers, parents, students, administrators, school board, tech department, media specialists, instructional technology staff, and even the custodians. We then placed each Post-It Note on a quadrant on the chart pictured. On the X-axis, we rated each person or group from low to high on the level of support they would provide the project. We did the same on the Y-axis, plotting their ability to influence success of the project from low to high.
As we considered each individual and/group, I found the conversations extremely beneficial. It was also a great reminder of the importance of taking time to step back from any project and consider how all people are affected by it, the roles each person/group plays, as well as what you should do as project leaders to keep everyone informed, engaged and satisfied.
Today is the last day of school for students, and this summer there will be a lot of work we do to get things ready for next year. Even though we're just finishing up the fourth year of our program and things seem to be running smoothly, taking time to do this prior to the start of that work will help things go even better in the fall.