One of the most common mistakes public health agencies make when implementing informatics projects is failing to consider what stakeholders need to know about the project. Too often, projects fail not because of technology issues but because people critical to the project were unclear about the goal, scope or details.
People considered critical to a project – the stakeholders –are those who are affected by a project, have influence over it or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful implementation. This includes the leadership team within an agency, program managers, users of the information system, external laboratories, etc.
As part of every project, the Institute conducts a stakeholder analysis to identify everyone who needs to be communicated to and prioritize them according to their level of interest and influence on the project. The stakeholder analysis is the first step in creating a well-developed communications plan.