Our final essay in a three-part series from CEO Nick Kishfy (@kishfy) on how best to get internal buy-in for something built by an outside agency. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the Series.

If you’ve made your case and aligned your pitch with the interests of your stakeholders, then you’ve successfully completed the first step.

But making stakeholders open to an idea isn’t the same as getting buy-in.

Now you can take your approach to the next level, and get your team excited and eager to take on your project.

To do that, you need to get them involved.

That starts by inviting ideas and input through every stage of the project planning process.

Give your stakeholders the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and experience -- and build their reputation within the company -- by having them play roles in the development of your project at every iteration.

Your marketing team probably deeply understands the needs and challenges of your customers, as well as the nuances of the company’s brand. Let them help with feedback on design and user experience.

Your technical team is your most valuable resource on your existing infrastructure and IT needs. Make sure that they play a role in the technical planning, especially since they may be managing the product after it’s handed off.

You’ll get valuable feedback that will help drive your project management decisions, and your teammates will develop an increased and vested interest in the project that they now play a part in.

How To Maintain Buy-In During And After The Project####

Don’t think of buy-in as a transaction; your challenge isn’t over once you get an “okay.”

Keeping your stakeholders happy throughout the development process will not only make your job easier, but it will ensure that little by little, innovation begins to creep into your company’s culture.

Update the project stakeholders continuously, and always keep their interests in mind when you frame your progress and invite feedback.

For example, which of these updates will your marketing director be more eager to receive?

“Latest wireframes attached. Looking forward to your feedback.”

Or...

“Latest wireframes attached. I think the newsfeed box would be a great spot to highlight the holiday campaign you’re planning. What do you think?”

And after the project is completed, continue to update stakeholders with the results that they’ve been a big part of delivering.

Conclusion####

In this guide, we’ve covered:

  • Understanding Stakeholder Resistance
  • Aligning Your Vision To Stakeholder Interests
  • Overcoming The Four Most Common Objections
  • Bringing The Team Together Behind The Project
  • How To Maintain Buy-In During And After The Project

If you follow these steps and achieve the results you envision, not only will you be seen as a champion of innovation within your organization, but key stakeholders will be far more eager to support innovation in the future.

Yes, it’s frustrating to meet resistance when you try to push forward new ideas. But it’s not uncommon, and it’s not a death sentence for your plan.

Use this guide to get buy-in for your project, deliver results and reshape the way your organization moves forward.

~ Nick Kishfy (@kishfy)