Your team knows what your organization needs when it comes to your next web development project – but it’s hard to get everyone on the same page, especially when it comes to decision makers. How do you communicate the value of your project while combatting budgets and varying opinions from stakeholders?
1. Speak Their Language
A project becomes valuable when decision makers understand what’s in it for them and for the company as a whole. Sometimes, we get caught up in our own roles and tasks so much that we forget to communicate the bigger picture to others within the organization – and that’s completely normal. Remember to make sure you’re regularly providing updates to internal teams as well as stakeholders and try not to overload communications with technical language that might not be familiar to them.
Keep communication straightforward and use business terminology that will make an impact. Think ahead about concepts like “return on investment” and be able to prove that you can use the project to make strides forward in efficiency and business processes.
2. Provide Examples
Showing evidence is a great way to get everyone on board, so you could utilize prior projects to prove that your upcoming project is worthwhile. If the proposed project is difficult to explain or compare to prior work, plan a discovery workshop, and consider the following examples to show how it can help.
- Who: Healthcare Industry
- What: Internal operations tool for managing patient data and healthcare roadmap
- How: Came to Caktus with a vague idea of a minimum viable product (MVP), and through a discovery workshop, the client collaboratively developed the scope of a real multi-phase MVP project, plus also built context around the long-term management, maintenance and cost of the proposed application.
- Results: This allowed their team to effectively sell the overall concept of the application to both future internal users of the application but also the budget decision-makers.
- Who: Higher Education Organization
- What: Received grant to develop new technology tool
- How: Needed to align the expectations of grant funder with the needs of users, all within the fixed budget, and through a discovery workshop, were able to define the dream scope of the project and effectively prioritize the feasible features that would satisfy the dual expectations of the stakeholders.
- Results: An MVP that both provided day-to-day value to users and also satisfied the bigger-picture goals of the funder.
Although complex development projects seem difficult to map out initially, taking the time to plan and organize the steps of discovery can make all the difference in the long run.
3. Develop a Plan of Action
Here’s where it comes down to the details. Taking the time in advance to create a detailed plan will not only ensure your project is completed in a timely manner but it will also help to ensure team buy in, long-term ROI, and add real value to your organization.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Prior to a workshop, the internal project sponsor may be downplaying the scale of the project in order to gain internal buy-in and/or the budget decision-maker may think that the employee is downplaying the scale. A discovery workshop provides an objective third party that delivers a credible assessment of the scale and removes internal doubt.
- Prioritization during a discovery workshop can help everyone feel like they’re right about the scale by not only defining the scope but also effectively prioritizing the effort. Specifically, it can make the project MVP small enough to achieve internal buy-in while also recognizing the full scope and roadmap needed to "finish" the project in future phases.
We love it when a discovery workshop turns doubters into optimists, and we know it’s the roadmap to make your next web development project a success.