Deciders and Stakeholder

At this point we need to discuss two groups of individuals. The deciders and the stakeholders. All deciders are stakeholders but not all stakeholders are deciders.

Who the deciders are as well as what decisions they make is determined on a project-by-project basis. The institution, the specific project, and the curriculum design methodology being used determine who the deciders will be.

There may be individuals who you haven't thought of that will have the ability to make decisions about certain parts of your project. For example, if the curriculum will have a great deal of its content provided via distance learning then the IT department will certainly need or at least want to become involved in decisions about the technology that will be needed.

In some projects, you will be provided with this information, in other projects you may have to determine who the deciders are yourself by doing research on the institution or organization.

In a 2-year College there are probably decision-makers at the top organization level such as a director of curriculum, decision makers at the program level, and decision-makers in support areas, just as an example.

It should be obvious why it is of importance to know who the organizational deciders are. Each of the deciders has a direct impact on your project. These may be major or minor but they still affect your project.

There are many reasons why you need to know who the deciders are, the following are a few of the most important. First, it's important to get to know the deciders relative to their opinion of the project (are they for the project, against the project, or neutral). Second, how closely do they want to be involved in the project (do they want updates on the project and how often, do they want to attend meetings, do they require sign-off and at what points in the project). Third, do they have processes that they want followed and specific formats for information delivered to them.

The second group of individuals that were mentioned are the stakeholders. Stakeholders are basically anyone who has a compelling interest in the (curriculum) project. You will learn more about them soon. Stakeholders can be a very broad category, from the organization's project champion for the curriculum project to the community in general.

It is very important to note who the stakeholders are, their feelings about the curriculum project, and their needs or expectations relative to the project.

We Will now look at both of these categories a little bit deeper.

Thinking in terms of the project you are considering, who would the deciders be? How will you determine who the deciders are and what specifically they will have responsibility for deciding?

In the discussion entitled: Deciding who decides, list some of the deciders for the project that you're considering. If you really don't even have one in mind yet, simply consider any example project in either an education or business and industry setting.

For the discussion activity you will give a brief (a few sentences) discussion of a curriculum project, list some of the deciders by either job role or area of concern, add note the decisions that would be within their purview.