Discovery essentials: Winning from the start - get your stakeholders onboard early

Early stakeholder involvement and investment in any project can help harness their valuable insights, expertise, and vision. With the aim to create a website that not only meets their requirements but also builds a strong foundation for long-term success.

Stakeholder image

Time pressures and commitment on projects for key stakeholders can be seen as a barrier. Their involvement during these early stages of a new website build has the potential to establish long-term rapport, instil trust and encourage them to get involved in key decisions to help deliver a new website on time and within budget.

Discovery workshops in the early stages of any project are a great way to establish this and here are some tips on how to do this effectively:

1. Set expectations

Before the workshop, send a communication outlining the aims of the discovery workshops and make it clear what you want to achieve during each session.

2. Get to know your stakeholders

Take the time to research your stakeholders and understand their individual roles, goals, and challenges. This will help you tailor the workshop to their needs and ask the right questions during the session.

Pro tip: Why not send your stakeholder a short questionnaire?

3. Create an open, collaborative environment 

Encourage open dialogue and collaboration during the workshop. Make sure that everyone has a chance to share their ideas- If you are running a hybrid workshop (in-person and online), give yourself extra time to allow individuals taking part online to voice their opinions.

4. Use visual aids 

Use visual aids such as diagrams, charts, and prototypes to help stakeholders understand the key questions during the session and provide them with a frame of reference when explaining new and creative ideas.

Pro tip: Leverage online tools, interactive whiteboards, and virtual break-out rooms.

5. Provide opportunities for feedback 

Encourage stakeholders to feel more involved and invested in the project by asking them to provide feedback and questions throughout the workshop.

6. Follow up after the workshop

After the workshop, follow up with stakeholders to thank them for their participation and provide an overview of the key takeaways.

These simple tips have served us well in running engaging workshops for all of our clients. A new website build should be a collaborative effort to help get the best results for both parties. But remember, the success of the project relies on their involvement, so it’s important to invest time and effort in building a strong relationship with them from the outset.