You’ve finally got the green light for that digital project you’re eager to get underway. You just know this build or implementation will benefit your organization, and you know exactly how you want to approach this project.
But wait. You can’t do it alone! You need your team, their skills, and, perhaps most important, their buy-in and belief in the project process, goals, and desired outcomes. How do you go about securing stakeholder buy-in without causing tension amongst your team?
Here are four ways to get your team on the same page for digital project success.
Make Sure your Website Team and Stakeholders Feel Heard
The first thing you have to do to get your team invested in your ideas is to make sure they feel heard. Project communication is a two way street. Think back to a time when you did not feel heard by a project lead. I bet you didn’t care to invest deeply in their ideas when your own voice was stifled.
It’s important to articulate your vision, but it’s a huge mistake to shut down other’s ideas and ignore criticism. Encourage your stakeholders to elaborate on their concerns. Three words - “tell me more” - could save your project from major pitfalls down the road. And it’s okay if everyone is not 100% on board. As long as you’re giving stakeholders a seat at the table and encouraging them to feel heard, chances are you can assuage uncertainties and achieve a level of buy-in that enables your team to move forward.
Make Sure Your Ideas are Clear to Everyone
In a team environment it’s not uncommon to have multiple stakeholders who prefer to absorb information in different ways. One person may be data-driven and need to see numbers before they jump on board with your idea. Another may be more inclined to an emotional appeal. Some want to talk details while others prefer to focus on the big picture.
All of these approaches are valid and, in fact, valuable. If people are looking at the project from different vantage points you are more likely to catch problems and ultimately succeed.
Part of your job as a project lead is to be cognizant of how your team members need to hear your ideas. If you’re communicating with your team in a way that they can really hear, you’ll have a much higher chance of getting disparate stakeholders aligned around your project vision.
Identify Exactly What You and Your Team Want This Project to Achieve
It is crucial that everyone is on the same page as far as project goals and success metrics before you reach out to a vendor or begin building anything. And your goals must align with your overall organizational goals to achieve real success. Here are some great tips on how to identify the right goals for your digital project.
It’s true that some vendors can be very helpful in facilitating your goal making process, but it’s important to at least have an idea of what you’re shooting for and why - and some team consensus around goals - before you bring in an outside perspective.
Define and Capture Measurable Data and Analytics that Matters to the Project
Mine the data you have at your disposal with your team before your project vendor comes in. Perhaps you’ve already captured some of this data to help your team get on board with your project ideas. Your vendor will want to understand how your data has been trending, and hear about the improvements you want to achieve through your work with them.
And once you’ve mined the data, don’t keep it to yourself. Provide your stakeholders with dashboards and put a schedule in place to regroup on an ongoing basis to keep your team and vendor informed of the project direction, and to discuss the data that is being monitored and referenced to fuel decisions.
As your project moves forward don’t forget about these team alignment strategies. It’s important to continuously check in on project health and team morale if you want to see continued success.
If you’re just starting your project, read up on our 10 steps for successful requirements gathering. And be on the lookout for my next blog post and video where I will share tips for co-opting your project critics.