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Managing relationships with your partners, stakeholders and the public is really important when you are developing your investment proposal. Building rapport among partners and stakeholders is also critical. How you do it will vary depending on their interests and concerns, but consider site visits, area tours or preliminary meetings before a workshop.

Engagement should be a collaborative process with your partners and stakeholders. It doesn’t need to be limited to formal workshops, but could include informal coffee meetings and phone calls. Make sure you keep everyone involved in the loop.

Relationship management icon

Relationship management is a key Business Case Approach (BCA) capability, and gathering information through informed discussions with the appropriate stakeholders is a BCA behaviour.

Measure success

Identify some success factors at an early stage – for example, how will you measure the success of workshops? Think about outcomes, getting the right people in the room, how you will gather evidence, what environmental mapping will look like. What can you do to ensure someone like your grandmother can understand the problems and benefits?

Public engagement

Be prepared for it to take some time to gauge public views on the issue at hand. Consider some kind of public engagement, such as open days.

Engagement plans

If you have not already developed an engagement plan, it is strongly recommended that you do. Your organisation’s communications team will probably be able to help you, and may have a stakeholder engagement plan template you can use. If they don't, you could use and adapt the template below.

Download the stakeholder engagement plan template [DOCX, 77 KB]

Your plan should include, but is not limited to:

  • who the investor(s) are
  • who the stakeholders are
  • who is on the project team (both internal staff and external consultants)
  • any particular needs or concerns of stakeholders, or tensions between stakeholders.

Consider mapping the level of influence and interest each stakeholder has, and therefore what role they will likely play and how you will need to communicate with them.

Stakeholder influence and interest

Groundwork and context icon

Planning for engagement helps establish the groundwork for all communications and interactions with stakeholders, such as keeping all parties involved when and where they’re needed, understanding their differences and tailoring your responses accordingly.

Read more about the groundwork and context capability

Stakeholders may play different and specific roles at workshops, depending on the topic and their knowledge, expertise and interests. It is useful to identify these roles, and when they should come into play, in the engagement plan.

Think about building a report-back session into the engagement plan so you can acknowledge stakeholders’ time and efforts and explain:

  • what decisions have been made and why
  • how their feedback and input has contributed
  • what the next steps are.

The level of detail in your plan should be fit for purpose, depending on your project. You may find the Transport Agency’s Public engagement guidelines helpful.

View the Public engagement guidelines

Tools and templates

Template

Note that this template is for guidance only, and should be adapted as necessary.

Download the stakeholder engagement plan template [DOCX, 77 KB]

Tool

NZ Transport Agency Public engagement guidelines

Information sheets

These information sheets are designed to accompany the BCA training modules.

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