In Policy Consolidation: Seven Critical Success Factors stakeholder involvement is called out as a critical component of a successful consolidation initiative. It is useful to identify and assess all policy stakeholders at the onset of a policy consolidation effort.  Buy-in from all constituencies contributes to a successful effort.

Identifying internal stakeholders will depend on the structure of the corporation or federal agency. Internal stakeholders can include: subject matter experts (SMEs), legal, enforcement, IT, government relations, communications and outreach, risk management, call center staff, and senior management to name a few.  Once the sponsorship for the effort is determined, many consolidation initiatives reach out to the internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to begin the process.  Internal SMEs are the primary resource for any consolidation effort and understanding and commitment are critical.

However, internal SMEs are not the only stakeholders that should be accounted for. The customers or users of the policy are also a critical component to the consolidation process. There may be initial resistance to including the external SMEs for fear that they will try and rewrite the policy or influence the process with their own agenda.  When done correctly, the involvement of customers can provide valuable insights and garner support and commitment from customers.

It seems intuitive to include stakeholders if the ultimate goal is a clearer and more succinct policy.  Consolidating policy creates a unique opportunity to simplify and clarify misconceptions for customers who use the policy.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to involve stakeholders in policy consolidation.

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