Once your goal is clearly articulated, socialize your goal with the following three groups of people to gain buy in and support. Members of all three groups can come from inside or outside the company, but ideally they’re inside. The three groups are:
- Senior Executives affected by the change; ask your Project Sponsor for names; these most likely be members of your future Executive Steering Committee (ESC) – more on this team in a later blog post
- Project Team members (working level team)
- Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) affected by the change (ask team members for names)
Ask the Senior Executives to validate that the project goal is appropriate, fits within the overall strategic plan of the company, and fits with the overall priorities of resources within the company. This information will help you better explain it to others.
Also, be sure to continually ask the Senior Executives “why” to better understand why this goal is important to the company.
After the Senior Executives validate the project goal, the next step is to have your project team members and others affected by the change validate that this goal is reasonable and attainable once your project team has been formed.
If you don’t have buy-in from these three groups, they won’t take ownership and you will not have an optimized team. Make sure the whole team is truly on board before moving ahead. If you run into a roadblock, ask for help from your Project Sponsor.
Remember, during this process, expect there to be differing opinions that will result in changes and/or tweaks to your project goal. Although it might be frustrating and time consuming, it’s better to get these differences identified and addressed sooner rather than later in order to gain alignment and build a good foundation for change. This is what helps to minimize the politics that surround projects. Keep in mind that any changes made to the project goal must be re-routed through these 3 groups as needed to keep everyone on the same page and aligned.
The above article is an excerpt from my recently published book, ‘How to Launch a New Product Faster‘