Planning for engagement helps you to step out how you will implement your activities.
Planning is essential to define your engagement objectives, techniques and how you will provide feedback.
Key steps in the PLANNING stage are:
- Know your purpose (a clear statement about the decision to be made)
- Define your engagement objectives
- Identify what is negotiable and non-negotiable (what can and can't be influenced)
- Undertake a community and stakeholder analysis
- Determine appropriate engagement tools and techniques
- Consider the parameters and limitations of your project and engagement
- Identify potential risks and mitigation strategies
- Plan how you will report back and close the feedback loop
- Decide how you will know if your engagement was successful (evaluation)
Effective planning allows you to create a step-by-step roadmap of responsibilities and tasks as well as supporting communication tactics and tools. It is a critical document to accompany your project and should ideally be signed off by management. The planning document can also help you to revisit your purpose if the project ‘loses its way’. Working through an engagement plan with others can help demonstrate how it will add value to the project. It can help to motivate teams and gain commitment to the engagement process.
You can use the Better Together Engagement Plan template (DOC, 130KB) to get you started.