Leadership buy-in is a critical component of any project. While we need financial approval of the project, that's only a portion of the buy-in we're discussing.
Leaders need to be champions of the project from the start, and system administrators/owners can ensure organizational leaders have the information they need to drive the project forward.
Note: This article assumes that the leadership team has approved the project, provided a budget, and expects the selected system/tools to roll out in the future.
Now, let's talk about the importance of buy-ins and achieving and maintaining them.
Leaders set the organization's tone by endorsing and driving the importance of a systems project. They show all employees that this is a priority item that deserves attention and focus.
It also drives a culture of unity around systems, which is critical in any organization. We often hear of companies where users manage their data in personal spreadsheets or applications outside of the available organizational tools.
Using external programs makes it near impossible to accurately assess what's going on within the organization and the relevant metrics and key performance indicators the organization might aspire to track.
Ideally, leaders "just get it" and can regularly drive the project's importance. But they may require some support to do so.
Keeping them apprised of progress is essential. Leaders may not require a granular level of detail every step of the way. Still, they should know the various project stages, milestones, related timelines, and major blockers as they arise.
Project updates provided before major company meetings serve two purposes.
One, it gives insight into progress as outlined above, and two, it puts the project in the leadership team's mind before the meeting, which means it will be top of mind heading into the discussion.
Increased discussion and engagement in the project can disperse the weight among all team members.
Celebrating the achievement of milestones should not be understated here. After completing a significant part of the project, make a big deal of it.
Commemorate with the team involved and communicate with leaders the achieved success. Frame it around how this is a crucial step toward the project's ultimate goal to highlight the progress.
All projects run into hurdles. Expect it: it's normal. Call them out early when they arise, or you anticipate them. It demonstrates an awareness of the project and its moving parts.
It also allows for insight into potential solutions from the leadership team, who may have great ideas or connections to resolve or get the ball rolling on the resolution.
As always, it's ideal to have a plan when presenting the issues or a few ideas on how to resolve the problem, so think about potential resolutions before announcing that a blocker has come up.
These tips can help you ensure you get the buy-in from organizational leaders you need behind the project. Keep in mind that that project itself is just the beginning.
The more you can engage leaders to champion the project right out of the gate, the more likely the organization will embrace the solution rolled out.
There is still plenty of work to support adoption, but we believe this leadership buy-in is a critical component of ongoing success.
Are you looking for additional support on a project? Contact C5 Insight today!
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