What is “Goop Mélange”?
In an episode of TV’s “The Odd Couple” Oscar took on making his own dinner. He mixed in potato chips, sardines, pickles, and whipped cream. It was then garnished with ketchup. When Felix asked what he called this mélange, Oscar answered, “Goop.”
So what does this have to do with stakeholder management?
The importance of stakeholder management is referenced in almost all best practice guidance including ITIL, COBIT, PMBOK, TOGAF and many more. In addition, the number of channels available for engaging stakeholders is growing to include social media, smartphones and other enabling technologies.
Unchecked, your stakeholder management plan can quickly become a very confusing mix of uncoordinated communication. Mixing up a little bit of everything can wind up being the goop mélange of your transformation program.
One way to assure a desirable mix of communication channels is to establish a Service Management Office (SMO), which can begin to develop marketing and communication expertise within the IT organization based on a well defined stakeholder management strategy.
The stakeholder management plan can take a look at the organizational landscape based on the current and future needs of a transformation path, identify key stakeholders and provide the analysis and guidance needed for others (such as project managers, architects, etc.) to effectively do so as well within the transformation context.
From a service management perspective, the stakeholder management plan and the SMO can set in motion the improvements needed to establish cross-functional communication. An example might be Service Owners driving dialog about end-to-end IT services across technical domains.
The stakeholder management plan, supported by a well-sponsored SMO, can also ensure that top-to-bottom communication channels are matured. This is enables communication between Process Ownership, Process Management and Process Practitioners as another example.
Sticking to these basics of stakeholder management and communications as you begin your transformation can make sure your stay focused on building a solid foundation for more sophisticated communication channels when the organization is ready, and avoid making a goop mélange out of your transformation communications.