Background: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has a small field team of eight people who engage directly with UK health and social care commissioners and providers to encourage and support the implementation of national guidance. Each year the team evaluate who would be most effective to engage with in order to increase implementation and uptake. In a changing landscape, and with limited resources, the team tested a new approach to stakeholder analysis, in order to identify high-impact stakeholders and more accurately tailor specific implementation activities to different stakeholders, dependent upon their interest and influence.
Objectives: Review the field team’s methods of external engagement, and test a new approach, using an influence-interest grid to identify the highest impact stakeholders to prioritise for activity within the annual engagement plan for 2016-17, in order to increase uptake of national guidance.
Methods: The team conducted a stakeholder-mapping exercise to identify all relevant stakeholders, and completed an influence-interest grid. We identified appropriate activities for each quadrant on the grid, and a tailored programme of activity was then developed for each. Success criteria were developed to ensure the team delivered engagements which had the most impact on uptake of national guidance, therefore using team resources to best effect.
Results: A programme of engagement delivering different activities to different stakeholders, based on their influence and interest was developed and delivered over 12 months. Success criteria, developed to ensure the objectives of the engagement plan were achieved.
Conclusions: Conducting stakeholder mapping, and using an influence-interest grid for stakeholder analysis, targeting different implementation activities to different stakeholders was an effective way of enabling the field team to increase their capacity and influence. The team delivered a more focused programme of external engagement, whilst also achieving the organisational targets and team success criteria.