Evidence has shown that implementation is more likely to be successful when it aligns with the priorities of all relevant stakeholders. This could be at an individual, organisation or system level. It is essential that identification of stakeholder priorities and key needs happens at the outset of a project. An example of a priority could be an unmet need in existing policies and practices. Consulting with stakeholders can help you consider the extent implementation will be able to address these priorities, as well as if there are other stakeholders who may need to be approached to offer further insights. Identifying priorities at an organisational and/or system level can be addressed by reviewing relevant organisational websites for related publications. It can also be achieved through examining published research in the field. If you do not have access to library resources, you may wish to collaborate with academic colleagues to help you with undertaking a review of existing literature and policy documentation.
Once you have identified key priorities, consider how implementation of your project output will align with these priorities. For example, you may wish to consult with relevant stakeholders to identify what is already being done to meet these priorities and how will your output fill the gap.
“We knew that senior managers were keen to understand the wellbeing needs and priorities of staff, but we did not know how to address this. By consulting with colleagues from a partner organisation, we were able to understand how they approached this. They informed us that they had conducted an anonymous survey with staff to ascertain key needs and priorities for wellbeing. With their guidance we collaborated with a local research and evaluation partner who helped us design the questions for a survey administered within our organisation. In this way we could make sure any initiatives arising from the project were aligned to staff needs. When we conducted the survey, we realised one key factor impacting on staff wellbeing was influenced by a national policy initiative which had resulted in changes to working practices within our organisation. We reflected that we should have reviewed national policies more closely at an early stage, to ensure that our survey questions considered the potential impact of these. We have since adapted the survey to include questions relating to the impact of these policies. The survey findings have provided important insights into how national policies impacted on staff wellbeing at an organisational level as well as reinforcing the importance of wellbeing initiatives being aligned to local, regional and national priorities.”