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Engaging Stakeholders – A Mini Case Study – Part 2

Talking with the Marketing Group and Developing the Communication Plan

Engaging StakeholdersRead Part 1 of the case study.

The day of the meeting with the marketing group arrived. Sam introduced Alex to the group and told them that Alex was leading the project to update the marketing portal. Sam also noted that Alex was interested in hearing from the group their perceptions of the project.

Jacklyn, the marketing manager, was the first to speak up. She said that while overall the group was glad that the portal would be updated and therefore have more functionality and features, they were worried about the time they would have for training and wanted to be sure it would be well tested beforehand so that they are not impacted by issues that may arise due to the update.

During the meeting, Alex learned the following were concerns of the marketing group:

  • Time for training to learn how to use the new features and functionality of the portal
  • An understanding of exactly what features and functionality would be available
  • An understanding of the timeline of the project – when will the new portal be launched

The group also asked that they be updated regularly – during their weekly department meetings – on the initiative.

Alex thanks the group for their time and for sharing their concerns and thoughts with him. He promised to get back to them within a week with a plan to address their concerns and to keep them updated. He would share that at their next department meeting.

The Communication Plan

Alex went back to his office and developed a communication plan to both address the concerns of the group and also to ensure regular project updates.

Certainly he would be providing weekly project status meetings every Monday at 9 AM (which is when the group had their department meeting.) His goal in these meetings was to share status of the project and answer any questions from the group. He expected he would need from 20 – 30 minutes at their meeting to share information and keep them engaged.

Alex also needed to gather additional information and hold specific meetings regarding components of the project – outside of the weekly project status meetings. He developed the following plan for this purpose:

Project: Update of Internal Marketing Portal

Stakeholders: Marketing Group

This document is an overview plan of specific communication needs to address concerns of the marketing group.



Data/Document Needs


Project plan

3rd week in Jan.

High level project plan with timelines.

Share project plan with marketing so they have a better understanding of timing of key events of the project.

Listing of all new features and functionalities of portal

1st week in Feb.

Listing of new features and functionalities which are part of the upgrade to the system.

Show value/benefits to marketing of updating the marketing portal. Will need to tie features/functionality to how it will help them better support client.

Training plan outline

1st week in Feb.

Listing of all changes to be made to marketing portal from IT as well as options for training marketing.

Share training plan outline to address concern of sufficient training on updated system

Schedule training

By end of Feb.

Finalized training outline.
Secure trainer (in-house, IT provided.)

Get all marketing group employees scheduled for training at least one month prior to launch. Scheduling training early would enable the team to block time off on their calendar.

Testing of updated portal

By early March

Share testing plan of updated portal.

Given it was a small group, everyone, except for the VP of Marketing, was going to be involved in testing the portal. Sharing the testing plan ahead of time will enable marketing team members to block time off on their calendar.

Develop after-launch support

By mid-March

Webinars and quick reference sheets.

Have after-launch support resources available to increase comfort with using updated marketing portal

Alex reached out to IT, who was managing the updates to the marketing portal, and they agreed to attend a number of the status meetings with the marketing group to specifically share information from a technology perspective and to answer any questions from the group.

Alex shared his plan with Sam, the VP of Marketing and with Jacklyn, the Marketing Manager. Both thought this information was exactly what the group wanted and encouraged Alex to share his next steps with the group.

One Week Later

Alex met with the group the following Monday during their department meeting and shared his plans. There were most interested in the training and had a number of questions around training. IT attended the meeting with Alex and were able to answer the questions from Marketing about training.

The group was engaged and, in Alex’s opinion, definitely more relaxed than the first time he met them to discuss the project.

Stay tuned for Part 3 which will share the feedback from the marketing group to Alex after the project had been launched.

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