To achieve a high-quality, integrated and whole-of-life learning and development system a large state government education department needed to engage productively and consistently with its complex network of stakeholders. The department engaged Pinnacle Group Australia to develop a strategic, contemporary and enterprise-wide approach to stakeholder engagement and management that was ‘user friendly’ and reflected best practice.
We undertook research and a literature review to identify national and international best practice and identified the relevant needs and capability gaps of departmental staff to engage effectively with stakeholders. We developed a range of engagement strategies, practical tools and resources that formed a practical user guide for planning and designing stakeholder engagement. We tested the framework with a group of core stakeholders and received very positive responses.
An action plan was then devised to embed the engagement framework within the department. High-level actions included a centralised stakeholder coordination function, enhanced business processes and systems and a professional development program for departmental staff.
The framework was implemented within the department and made available to the general public. Stakeholder engagement is now positioned as core business for the department, enhancing community confidence and stakeholder buy-in. The new approach has improved the department’s planning and risk management, resulting in better and more strategic decision making and increased capacity to innovate. It facilitates higher quality input by stakeholders into the department’s policies, projects, programs and services. It facilitates effective collaboration and knowledge sharing, and communicates the department’s commitment to and principles of stakeholder engagement to the community.