Why didn’t we do that in the first place?
A multi-million pound IT infrastructure change is no mean feat at the best of times. There are hundreds of reasons why it could go wrong, be delayed or go hugely over budget. And there’s pretty much no doubt that it will do all of those things over the course of the 2 - 3 years before the project goes live.
But there is one thing that you can do quite easily that will go a long way to ensuring you have full stakeholder buy-in all the way through AND after the big go live, your audience / workforce wholeheartedly embracing the new technology.
Over the years we’ve seen the inner working of many large companies, been with them on their digital transformation journey and we’ve noticed something - The most successful transformation programmes have been the ones that have taken stakeholder and audience communication and engagement seriously from the word go.
Even on a project where everything has been going fine, there normally comes a time when senior leaders start to question why things are taking longer than anticipated or why is it that you need more money. There are perfectly valid reasons for all of the above, but this is the first they’ve heard of it.
And then there’s the frequent assumption that just because the business thinks this is the best thing since sliced bread, the workforce are going to feel the same. This all sounds very dramatic, but we’ve read scary figures like - 72% of failed IT transformations being down to company management or employees not embracing that change.
So don’t find yourself on the backfoot. Don’t let a tiny thing like stakeholder and employee engagement tarnish your reputation or threaten the success of your programme.
For your next big programme, you need a clear and comprehensive stakeholder engagement and comms plan right from the beginning of the process. The more strategic the change is, the more vital this engagement is. Involve your comms team or employ a dedicated comms partner immediately.
If you don’t have the capacity or expertise, then investing a small percentage of your overall programme budget will repay itself over and over again.
What we’d really love you to do is get in touch with us… this is what we’re all about and we’re really rather good at, but if you want to do it yourself, here’s a checklist to help get you started;
Commit the budget (as a guide 1-2% of the overall programme budget will do the job)
Choose a comms partner / expert
Identify, understand and develop a relationship with your audiences
Anticipate hazards that could impact delivery
Develop a clear narrative explaining the whys and wherefores
Put together a comprehensive engagement plan
Celebrate the success and milestones
Take responsibility for the full delivery of the plan
You’re good at what you do, so don’t let the lack of stakeholder and employee engagement damage your reputation or put the success of your programme at risk.
Do this thing and you won’t regret it.