Influencing Change / But They Have the Power / What's In It For Me? / Getting Stakeholder Buy-in


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Answer this one little question and I guarantee you will have the keys to the kingdom!
- Enthusiastic support from others for an initiative you are interested in.
- Motivated help in executing a plan.
- Attentive listeners when you are presenting an idea

The skill is to understand the answer to this one little question, "what's in it for me?" The answer is not as simple as you may think. Sure you may know what the answer is for yourself, but if you hope to gain the support of others, you need to be clear on what the answer is from the most important perspective: Their perspective!

One of the biggest questions that people considering moving to a single-source environment have is: How do I get buy in? There are two sides to this question: How do I get buy in from management? And How do I get buy in from my team?

Single-sourcing projects require new skill sets, new roles, and significant changes that forces productive and successful team members out of their comfort zones. It requires resources, dedication, and sponsorship from the enterprise as well.

Some things can be driven from the bottom up and some from the top, but regardless of where it starts, moving to a single-sourcing environment requires buy-in by all those whose process is affected directly or indirectly.

An entire body of literature is dedicated to change management. This presentation will share advice, guidance, and lessons learned from a variety of customers in a range of industries who have made this transition.

Some of the issues covered in these case studies include:
- Keys to increasing adoption in writing teams
- Lessons learned throughout the process
- Strategies for rolling out new single-source authoring tools
- Typical tasks and roles
- Strategies to facilitate and encourage new skill acquisition
- How to transition content authoring processes
- Rolling out to distributed teams
- Special issues with regard to outsourced writing groups
- Redesigning processes to address business requirements for quality and traceability
- Presenting to upper management

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Influencing Change / But They Have the Power / What's In It For Me? / Getting Stakeholder Buy-in

  1. 1. What’s in it for me?
  2. 2. I have an idea! 2
  3. 3. Your idea•  You’ve thought it through –  The conclusions are obvious –  The benefits are clear –  You’re full of enthusiasm•  You race to share it with others – your boss, your peers, your subordinates•  What will their reaction be? 3
  4. 4. Is it this way? 4
  5. 5. Or this way? 5
  6. 6. The typical reaction•  Resistance•  Disinterest•  Sabotage•  It’s human nature 6
  7. 7. Today we’re talking strategiesto gain support and cooperation …and avoid sabotage What’s the first thing that happens? 7
  8. 8. What’s in it for Me? 8
  9. 9. Example: Coming to the conference today•  This was the first question you had, even if it was phrased differently –  How will attending advance my career? –  Improve my skills? –  Improve my understanding? –  Make me a stronger contributor for my company?•  Any number of motivating factors 9
  10. 10. No man is an island 10
  11. 11. Stakeholder buy-in 11
  12. 12. People are people•  Role power isn’t enough –  Your company doesn’t exist without others (employees, customers, home life) –  Decision authority doesn’t buy you freedom from madness, mayhem, and mutiny•  No one exists without interdependence on others of some form at some point 12
  13. 13. Ideally you want to get support from all sides 13
  14. 14. Advice from Catherine Lymon, NetApp (DITA NA 2012)•  I did not go to business and engineering leaders early enough.•  They couldn’t see any short-term benefits for their team.•  Look at potential problems in your organization..•  Identify ahead of time where you have business leaders that tend to be micro-managers and get to the root of the concern•  Are writers of questionable skill or subversive inclination fomenting mistrust? Fix that first 14
  15. 15. Mistake: Neglecting to sell DITA tocustomer organizations Business leader says something like “I see how this could benefit NetApp but…” – I don’t want to pay for the conversion. Too much real work to do. – I don’t want to have developers review converted material. Not enough time! – I don’t want my writers off doing something “for the good of the order”. – We can’t do without change bars Do you have writers embedded in other orgs that aren’t fully subscribed to DITA? Are they feeding mistruths or misperceptions to their business leaders? “If Only We Had Known: Snares and Pitfalls of Managing in a DITA Environment” Catherine Lyman & Martha Morgan, NetApp @ CMS DITA NA 2010© 2010 NetApp. All rights reserved. NetApp Confidential – Limited Use 16
  16. 16. Everyone rowing the same way 16
  17. 17. What we have so far…1.  We know and understand the answer to the first primal question: What’s in it for me?2.  We’ve identified stakeholders•  What’s next? 17
  18. 18. How does this benefit others? 18
  19. 19. How do I get others to agree? 19
  20. 20. How do I get my way? 20
  21. 21. Back to our conference example…•  You figured out the benefits for you•  You had to go get someone to take action on something that would benefit you –  Approval for time off –  Budget reimbursement –  Someone to cover for you…•  How do you do this? 21
  22. 22. What if you’d said:I want to attend this conference because theyhave a session that will help me get my wayand I want to learn how to get what I want.What response would you havegotten? 22
  23. 23. How about:I really think you should approve my tripbecause I will get more professionalconnections and build a stronger network.What response would you havegotten? 23
  24. 24. Or.. how about:I’ll get more advanced skills so I can advancemy career.(translation: so I can get a better job)What response would you havegotten? 24
  25. 25. What response would you get if you had said…•  I want to attend this conference because they have a session that will help me get my way and I want to learn how to get what I want.•  I really think you should approve my trip because I will get more professional connections and build a stronger network.•  I’ll get more advanced skills so I can advance my career Bosses – how would you have responded? 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. When I say… OrangeYou say what? 28
  29. 29. Orange 29
  30. 30. What if I had said… The most popular, fresh-squeezed, breakfast drink 30
  31. 31. We all would haverelated to orange juice 31
  32. 32. Speak their language Make your idea relatable to your audience 32
  33. 33. It’s your responsibility•  To answer the first primal question for them•  And to put it in to words they can relate to 33
  34. 34. Let’s try an example “Switching to DITA will allow us to maximize reuse”We all understand this•  We understand DITA•  We understand reuse•  We understand what the statement implies 34
  35. 35. How about this one...“We’re thinking of redesigning howwe create content to make it easierto rebrand” 35
  36. 36. Or this one...“We’re considering redesigning howwe create content so the customersget the most accurate productinformation on demand” 36
  37. 37. For the executive...“We’re proposing a change in howwe document in order to maximizeefficiencies”“and we’ve calculated the ROI andthe cost can be fully recovered in 3years” That will get you some attention! 37
  38. 38. It’s all in how you say it•  No where did we say “DITA” or “reuse”•  Talk in terms that are critical to what’s in it for them•  Changing the way you say what you intend to do makes it easier and more relatable to the receiver 38
  39. 39. What we have so far…1.  We know and understand the answer to the first primal question: What’s in it for me?2.  We’ve identified stakeholders3.  We’ve put it in language that’s relatable to them•  What’s next? 39
  40. 40. What’s in it for them? 40
  41. 41. What’s in it for them?•  This is a step that is often missed –  We talk about features and benefits –  We show our reasoning –  We show our enthusiasm –  All of this is What’s In It For Us (not them)•  You haven’t told them why should they spend time/energy supporting you in this (much less figuring it out for themselves)? 41
  42. 42. What’s your angle? 42
  43. 43. Get out of your own way•  Avoid focusing too much on features•  Change your perspective –  Sometimes it can be hard to imagine someone not coming to the same conclusions that you came to•  Get a partner (for whom it is easy)•  Try some techniques used by Innovators –  Identify opportunities, problems, relationships, motivation, connections, and associations 43
  44. 44. Two final storiesTeam One Team Two•  Boss dictated •  Team lead went to every•  Team sabotaged when he touchpoint wasn’t around •  People are waiting in line to jump in with just as•  They’ll get there, but all much enthusiasm the pain and anguish that •  Teams from other could have been avoided divisions want to follow•  Not to mention the suit delayed ROI •  Collaborative, cooperative! 44
  45. 45. What’s in it for you?•  Increased adoption•  Higher degree of success rolling out new initiatives•  Strategies to facilitate and encourage new skill acquisition•  Enthusiastic transition to new content authoring processes•  Effortless rolling out to distributed teams 45
  46. 46. Single-Sourcing Solutionso  Over a decade of experience in dynamic product information creation, publication, and delivery.o  Experts for every phase of the single-source development process.o  Deep community relationships to ensure your success.o  Unique customer focus with concierge level service. o  Advisory Line o  Blogs o  Podcasts o  Code repositories
  47. 47. Want more information?Need help getting off the island?Contact us at:Phone 408-660-3219e-Mail info@single-sourcing.comOr visit us on the web at