Technology Adoption and Stakeholder Analysis: Identifying and Addressing Skills Gaps

Blog Post created by DSchneider-esristaff Employee on May 18, 2018

This is part 2 of a three-part series on the stakeholder analysis stage of a people-focused change management initiative.

My previous post on aligning people-focused change management with a disruptive technology deployment explained why it’s important to analyze impacted workforce roles across organizational business units. After documenting how each role will use the new technology, the next step is to identify any skills gaps.

Start by considering the to-be or desired, state to understand what the role will need to know to achieve the desired state. Because you’re doing the skills-gap analysis at the role level rather than individual level, assume the people filling the roles know nothing about the new technology. Later, you can work with team members to document their training needs.

Below is an example of how a role is documented at this stage to support a skills-gap analysis. Notice the three numbered sections.

Role Overview

This section includes a high-level description of what the role does and specific role actions related to the technology deployment. The impacted roles may be unfamiliar to you; therefore, having a knowledgeable liaison is critical in this step. If need be, you can usually get formal position descriptions from your Human Resources team.

Strategic Alignment

This section provides a focused description of how the role participates in various strategic business objectives. Aligning role to organizational strategy provides the justification for training and highlights how the role’s work product contributes to important organizational goals and objectives.

Knowledge Requirements

Previously, you created role profiles to document the current state. Now, in this section, list the Skills Capabilities and Workflows that are required for the role’s “to-be” state. Skills Capabilities are a high-level classification of the many workflows that are identified in the technology platform.

Notice that the Workflows component provides a more detailed explanation of how the skills will benefit the role. Adding this information is an important part of communicating the WIFFM (What’s In It For Me) to individuals who must learn the workflows. Additionally, this section helps translate learning objectives into terms people will understand and appreciate. When the new skills need to be applied to their daily tasks, they can reference this section to ensure they are meeting the learning objectives.


After conducting this part of the stakeholder analysis, you are prepared to evaluate your team members’ knowledge capacity to execute the technology implementation. The information you have collected will help to:

1.      Prioritize training delivery to ensure team enablement for implementation.

2.      Align training activities with project milestones to ensure timely delivery of training. In other words, deliver training when it is needed--not too early and not too late.

3.      Make sure individuals have the big-picture of “why” they need to learn the new workflows when they are assigned training.

4.      Identify areas where skills already exist. This can help to build momentum for adoption of the new technology.