Are you responsible for leading change or projects in your organization or within your team? If so, I would like to share one critical factor amongst others that could help you ensure successful outcomes.
That critical success factor is early collaboration and engagement of stakeholders.
I have been involved in a few projects where there was a big push back on involving stakeholders early in the process for fear that it would derail the project with additional requirements or questions or multiple meetings. Only to get to the testing or business sign-off phase, and we uncover critical issues that ultimately delayed or prevented the final roll-out of the change.
Early collaboration and engagement requires the prompt involvement of key stakeholders. These are the representatives of the end-user or customer groups who will be recipients of the process or project.
Top three reasons to engage end-users, employees, and/or customers early:
- They are the final recipients of the product or service, and a truer authority on the product or service being fit for purpose.
- They are most familiar with the product or service, and in the best position to contribute to a more user-friendly design or help to identify potential pitfalls or barriers.
- Making them part of the process early drives early buy-in and advocacy for the product or service, and they become valued change agents in championing the cause.
How early is ‘early’? This could be in the requirements or design phase before the solution is locked down and signed-off.
While it is a good idea to involve the stakeholders, it is also a learned skill to manage the process so as to ensure it is not out of control and delays the project. Some of the change leadership skills required to help you do this include; managing multiple stakeholder groups, building trust, communication, and teamwork.
Leading change is a learned skill that is available to all, and required by all in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Yvonne is a Change Strategist, Catalyst and Advocate who is passionate about working with professionals and organisations to help them successfully lead and transition through change. You can learn more about Yvonne at: www.yvonnerukeakpoveta.com and connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.