As a professor in educational leadership, one of the courses I teach is an internship class with aspiring administrators. These students are classroom teachers, supervisors or coordinators in a K-12 school setting.
Students are required to engage in an action research project that is targeted to school improvement. The action plan is aligned to all ten Professional Standards of Educational Leadership and should include a variety of members of the school community to participate.
For over nine years, I have shared the Stakeholder Analysis template and communication plan as a cohesive and comprehensive tool to ensure their action plan is successfully implemented.
Taken from the business world and used by project managers, business people and strategists; I find it to be very useful in school organizations. I’m surprised by the number of teachers, supervisors and administrators who have never heard of this framework. Its main purpose is to ensure effective communication with members involved in the project, program and/or initiative.
As we know, effective communication of any new initiative is critical. Transformational leaders are only able to affect change in a positive and sustainable manner when they engage members of the organization in the process of change. Clear communication, timely submission of key information to members of the organization, and measurement of the degree of the members’ participation and effectiveness lead to the success of the change initiative.
Using the stakeholder analysis and communication plan will keep the initiative on track regarding timeline goals, action steps and how responsibilities are delegated. Not only should aspiring administrators use these supportive resources, but sitting principals, directors and superintendents would greatly benefit from this effective and strategic tool.