17. Learn About the People

Overview: This task includes analysis of the stakeholder groups likely to be impacted. Through this task, it becomes apparent that different groups have unique needs and requirements. This task identifies “people issues” and “people opportunities.”

Considerations: Enlisting an expert organizational change consultant or using HR professionals to lead or substantially participate in this task is recommended. Who is familiar with the “way things are done around here” and who is possibly new to the organization that can contrast those norms against other organizations? What is the relationship between written policy and employee expectations? Are there any “unwritten rules” that employees assume to be true?


  • State to the Farmers and Scientists “This task identifies high level characteristics of each group so a plan can be created to improve future communication, training, and changes in roles.”
  • Draw insights from previous results of diagnostic tools and/or surveys.
  • Using focus group sessions or structured interviews identify potential strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s culture (or characteristics) pertaining to improved processes.
  • Classify the data gathered from focus groups and interviews into a few common themes.
  • Draft a synopsis of the results. Provide copies to management and focus groups. Indicate how the information might be used to improve business results.

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