In September I wrote about a tool called Stakeholder Analysis and how you could use it to prepare for a telework implementation. In conjunction with the Stakeholder Analysis, or as a predecessor to that tool, telework leaders may find a Key Constituents Map helpful as well. A Key Constituents Map is used to identify and label key groups or people (“constituents”) who will be impacted by telework. You can use a simple pie chart model to identify and analyze groups in terms of their relative influence or involvement with the telework implementation.
As the team develops the Key Constituents Map they may start discussing the groups that support or resist telework, which can later be used in a Stakeholder Analysis. However, before getting into the details with a Stakeholder Analysis it is often useful to get a broad perspective on who the constituents are, where they reside in the organization, and their relative weight or size to others.
Follow these steps to create your own Key Constituents Map:
- Brainstorm and list all the groups that will be impacted by the telework initiative.
- If possible, put similar groups into broader categories (e.g. the business intelligence team and the release management office may fall under “IT” while accounts payable and sourcing may fall under “finance.”)
- Create a pie chart with slices for each group or organization. The size of each slice should correspond to how much influence the group will have on the telework implementation or how much it will be impacted. Note the size of the slice if not necessarily dependent on the number of people within the group. Personally, I like to use a scale between 1 and 10 (1 = low influence/impact, 10 = high influence/impact) to rate each group. Yes, this is a very subjective approach and should be done with a team and not as a solitary activity. The team discussion is what is really important. By forcing the team to rate each group, people will begin to understand where they need to focus their effort.
- Once the pie chart is created, the team can conduct a “sanity” check. The team can debate or discuss each group until there is consensus that the chart is a fairly accurate depiction of the groups and their relative weight.
- For larger groups, you can create additional constituent maps to get to a lower level of detail or subgroups within specific organizations.
The Key Constituents Map is a simple tool to create, but I find that it is often the simplest tools that yield the best results. Remember that the real value is in guiding a team discussion rather than creating a fancy chart.