Many clients start with the goal of getting one central up-to-date stakeholder list, that can be shared and worked on simultaneously by multiple colleagues across their organisation. Once your team gets bigger, your stakeholder lists bigger or more complex, then Excel spreadsheets just don't cut it.

While it's tempting to just rush in and import your existing spreadsheets into Darzin, it's worth pausing to think through what else you want to achieve with your stakeholder management. Some ideas may be:

  1. Create segmented lists based on region, interest, type of stakeholder, etc. You may want to be able to easily identify a list of stakeholders who have a particular interest, to invite them to participate in a targeted consultation, for example.

  2. Is there any additional information you'd like to start tracking for your stakeholders? You do not need to have that information available to you right now, but you do need to have a clear idea of what you want to track and how you plan to use it. 

  3. Is there information you have a statutory obligation to keep track of - such as permission to use their information?

  4. Are some segments of your stakeholder lists going to be common (or "shared") with multiple or all projects your organisation runs? For example a Stakeholder group of "Government Elected Representatives" is likely to be relevant across the organisation.

Pausing to think through these questions gives you an opportunity tidy up your spreadsheets, and set up the right fields in Darzin prior to importing them. If you have the information for any of these new fields already, they can be imported in at the same time. And setting up the right structure for Contact Groups, Custom Fields and more, means that data will be imported into the right fields right from the start. 

The import process is virtually the same in either case, but if you take the time to think through how you want your data recorded and used, you will end up with a more useable and organised list of stakeholders, and you will be three steps ahead of your Excel spreadsheets, not just two steps ahead!

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