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High level stakeholders provide valuable strategic objectives for overall project direction. When working on a marketing or technology initiative, engaging higher-up members of the organization can be more valuable than simply meeting the aims of the engagement.
In order to guarantee success on all levels, garner stakeholder involvement and participation as early as possible to ensure buy-in. With a clear view of corporate vision, these members provide valuable strategic goals for the overall project direction.
Following a few easy guidelines can facilitate continual stakeholder buy-in. We break down the steps for a successful project process, from start to launch.
Plan Buy-in from the Beginning
Any interaction with high ranking leadership should be highly intentional and purposeful. With careful preparation, the account management team will be able to accommodate stakeholder availability and willingness to contribute throughout the project production cycle.
The project management team should also gauge how to best approach account management by designating check-ins with internal client teams to achieve consensus. The end results will be entirely manageable with clear communication and detailed project management.
Kick-off with a Working Session
Sessions that include the highest individuals within the organization should be planned in advance to facilitate carefully structured conversations that are customized for this target audience. These should qualify how a successful project fits into overall business objectives and strategic plans. A thorough understanding of the agency’s processes, purposeful exercises, and initial insights can help internal stakeholders gain trust and build value in the collective, multi-disciplinary efforts.
Allow Direct Access to Internal Stakeholders
If at all possible, try to get key individuals to the table early on. If their involvement is not possible, carefully crafted surveys, phone interviews, or a questionnaire may provide some valuable insight.
With input from internal stakeholders from the beginning stages of the project, vision and goals can be universally accepted and agreed upon by the individuals that are present during the kickoff. It is the best opportunity for everyone to start off on the same page.
Mitigate Potential Pain Points
Active leadership involvement throughout a project is ideal, but pain points can arise during the process. We break down some of these potential issues and offer viable working solutions.
Higher up stakeholders may not have the time, willingness, or ability to be involved in every step of a project. They can prefer to wait for internal presentations rather than engaging directly with the agency. Therefore, agency involvement is vital as quality conversations with executives are needed to inform project direction and details, rather than simply gain approval. With bigger companies, this can be even more difficult as there are often multiple national or international offices. Therefore, the initial meeting should be used to establish a solid direction and mission on all accounts with a cohesive digital strategy in mind.
Mitigate a Lack of Consensus
There may be instances when the leadership of an organization may not share the same vision. This is a great opportunity for a well-structured workshop to be extremely valuable to all parties involved. A talented strategy team brings proven techniques, exercises, and ideas that can ultimately lead to consensus and a clear path for the project to proceed.
To summarize, it’s vital to get top leadership involved early in the project process. Engaging the right individuals in meaningful discussions, and helping them understand how their presence and participation throughout the process is a key part in the project success. Taking part in a digital endeavour and being heard will lead to an executive team that values the final product and the tremendous efforts that went into it.
Don’t manage your internal stakeholders alone. Contact our expert strategy and design teams to learn about exercises and presentation formats that resonate with internal stakeholders.