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Mission Possible: Stakeholder Alignment

In content strategy, it can be a huge struggle getting everyone working from the same playbook. Why are we creating this content? Who is it for? Who is accountable for its success? To get to stakeholder alignment, we don’t need to rely solely on our persuasive powers. There are tools that can help groups set individual agendas aside and focus on building shared standards and strategy. Kristina shares her own methods for getting people on the same page in any project or team setting. Presented at An Event Apart in Denver, December 2017

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STAKEHOLDER ALIGNMENT
MISSION POSSIBLE:
KRISTINA HALVORSON, CEO BRAIN TRAFFIC
AUTHOR, _CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB_
@HALVORSON
WHAT IS ALIGNMENT?
AGREEMENT OR COOPERATION
AMONG A GROUP WITH A COMMON
CAUSE.
Dictionary.com
WHAT IS ALIGNMENT?
A POSITION OF AGREEMENT
OR ALLIANCE.
Oxford English Dictionary
WHAT IS ALIGNMENT?
COOPERATION
ALLIANCE
AGREEMENT
CONFLICT

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Mission Possible: Stakeholder Alignment

  • 1. STAKEHOLDER ALIGNMENT MISSION POSSIBLE: KRISTINA HALVORSON, CEO BRAIN TRAFFIC AUTHOR, _CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE WEB_ @HALVORSON
  • 3. AGREEMENT OR COOPERATION AMONG A GROUP WITH A COMMON CAUSE. Dictionary.com WHAT IS ALIGNMENT?
  • 4. A POSITION OF AGREEMENT OR ALLIANCE. Oxford English Dictionary WHAT IS ALIGNMENT?
  • 10. “MANAGEMENT OF DIFFERENCES” BY SCHMIDT AND TANNENBAUM ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts ALIGN ON…4 PRIMARY REASONS FOR CONFLICT ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts
  • 11. 1. Deliver WOW through service 2. Embrace and drive change 3. Create fun and a little weirdness 4. Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded 5. Pursue growth and learning
  • 12. 1. Deliver WOW with user- centered design 2. Embrace feedback and drive change 3. Create fun and a little weirdness 4. More builds, less angst
  • 13. ALIGN ON… AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: GOALS ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts
  • 14. We will launch a fully responsive website that engages our target audiences and provides the foundation for rapid cross-platform innovation. AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: GOALS GOALA BAD GOAL 👎
  • 15. S pecific M easurable A ttainable R elevant T ime-framed Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-framed
  • 16. A BETTER GOAL AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: GOALS 👍 By end of Q4 2018, we will launch a new website that: ‣ is fully responsive ‣ meets our new brand standards (due Q4 2017) ‣ meets usability testing requirements based on user- centered design principles
  • 18. AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: METHODS ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts ALIGN ON…
  • 19. AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: METHODS DECIDING ABOUT DECISION-MAKING ▸ How do we make decisions? ▸ Who gets to decide? ▸ What are the relevant facts? ▸ How will we confirm those facts? ▸ What assumptions are we okay to move forward with? ▸ How do we make decisions? ▸ Who gets to decide? ▸ What are the relevant facts? ▸ How will we confirm those facts? ▸ What assumptions are we okay to move forward with?
  • 21. CONSENSUS COUNCIL AD HOC COMMANDSPEED OF DECISION-MAKING SUPER FAST! PAINFULLY SLOW STRENGTH & LONGEVITY OF SOLUTION NOT SO MUCH PRETTY SOLID
  • 22. AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: ROLES ▸ Owner ▸ Sponsor ▸ Manager ▸ Product team ▸ SMEs ▸ Everyone else
  • 23. R Responsible for completing the task A Accountable for delivering the work C Consulted about the work I Informed about the work
  • 24. Content inventory Messaging Page tables Copywriting CONTENT STRATEGY I A A C EDITORIAL I R/A C C IA I I R C WRITER R C C R/A
  • 25. Content inventory Messaging Page tables Copywriting SHELLY R/A C C I FRANK I R/A C A STEVE I I R/A I ALICIA I R I R
  • 26. ALIGN ON… AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: METHODS ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Methods ▸ Facts
  • 27. AS YOU PREPARE YOUR PROJECT: FACTS DECIDING ABOUT DECISION-MAKING ▸ How do we make decisions? ▸ Who gets to decide? ▸ What are the relevant facts? ▸ How will we confirm those facts? ▸ What assumptions are we okay to move forward with?
  • 28. 2 : ASSESSMENT & ANALYSIS
  • 29. ASSESSMENT VS. ANALYSIS THE ASSESSMENT ▸ Catalogs information ▸ Records observations ▸ Considers … ▸ Business objectives and constraints ▸ Audience goals ▸ Project environment
  • 34. Hello, As you know, Brain Traffic is working with our team on the content strategy for our upcoming website redesign. To help her prepare for your interview, the lead content strategist for the project, Kristina Halvorson, asked me to send the following questions to you: 1. What is your role at BigCompany? (title, manager, responsibilities) 2. What are your biggest concerns (or pain points) about today’s website? 3. What are the top three opportunities you see for our new website? Please forward your answers to kristina@braintraffic.com no later than 5:00pm CT mm/dd. Thanks! Action required: reply due by mm/dd Project.Owner@BigCompany.com
  • 35. “I know you have a lot on your mind, so here’s a quick refresh on…” ‣ Project goals ‣ Current status ‣ Why we need your help ‣ Post-interview plan
  • 36. PERCEPTION VS. REALITY ▸ What do they think the problem is? ▸ Do they know all the pieces of relevant information? ▸ Do they accept or reject that information as true? ▸ How do they view their authority or power on this project? DOING ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS: THE INTERVIEW
  • 38. ▸ Pulls it all together ▸ Says what’s true ▸ Prioritizes what matters ▸ Is our foundation for upcoming design and build decisions THE ANALYSIS ASSESSMENT VS. ANALYSIS
  • 41. DIAGNOSIS + GUIDING PRINCIPLES + COHERENT SET OF ACTIONS STRATEGY
  • 42. DIAGNOSIS = ANALYSIS ▸ Pulls it all together ▸ Says what’s true ▸ Prioritizes what matters ▸ Is our foundation for upcoming design and build decisions DESIGNING STRATEGY
  • 43. ▸ Values ▸ Goals ▸ Purpose statement ▸ Prioritized audiences GUIDING PRINCIPLES DESIGNING STRATEGY
  • 44. HEALTH CHECK: PROJECT GOALS DESIGNING STRATEGY: REVISITING GOALS By end of Q2 2017, we will launch a new website that: ‣ is fully responsive ‣ meets our new brand standards (due Q3 2016) ‣ meets usability testing requirements based on user- centered design principles ‣ makes do with our existing CMS
  • 45. PURPOSE STATEMENT DESIGNING STRATEGY: REVISITING GOALS Our website exists to: ‣ Get sales leads ‣ Quickly connect priority audiences to the right BigCompany people ‣ Deliver 100% satisfaction in support services
  • 47. DIAGNOSIS + GUIDING PRINCIPLES + COHERENT SET OF ACTIONS __________________ STRATEGY DIAGNOSIS + GUIDING PRINCIPLES + COHERENT SET OF ACTIONS __________________ STRATEGY
  • 48. 4 : DESIGN & BUILD
  • 49. DESIGN ARTIFACTS ▸ Design for your user and the task. ▸ Be consistent. ▸ Use simple and natural dialogue. ▸ Reduce unnecessary mental effort by the user. ▸ Provide adequate feedback. ▸ Provide adequate navigation mechanisms. KEY PRINCIPLES OF USER CENTERED DESIGN
  • 50. KRISTINA, WE ARE GOING TO NEED A LOT MORE CONTENT, WHERE SHOULD WE GET IT. Everyone DESIGN & BUILD: RECEIVING FEEDBACK
  • 51. DO NOT DEFEND. DO NOT DEFLECT.
  • 52. THE PLAN, SHE CHANGES. DESIGN & BUILD: REMEMBER HOW YOU SIGNED OFF ON THIS REMEMBER? ▸ Values – Here’s what shapes our products and process. ▸ Goals – How are our goals holding up? ▸ Methods – Where do we need to shift gears? ▸ Facts – What has come up that is relevant to our goals? ▸ Values – Here’s what shapes our products and process. ▸ Goals – Here’s what we’ll accomplish. ▸ Methods – Here’s how we’ll get it done. ▸ Facts – Here’s what we’ll base our decisions on.
  • 54. MAINTAIN MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING ▸ Joint objectives ▸ Joint communication ▸ Joint resources ▸ Joint risks DESIGN & BUILD: KEEPING THE TEAM ALIGNED
  • 55. Joint Objectives Joint Commitments Joint Resources Joint Risks Confused Implicit Unavailable Underestimated Clear Explicit Available Under Control Joint Objectives Joint Commitments Joint Resources Joint Risks
  • 56. Objectives Contributions Resources Risks Commitments Describe concretely what should be achieved together, as a team. Describe individual contributions for reaching the objective. Describe the missing resources for you to fulfill your part. Describe what may prevent you from succeeding. Describe concrete commitments each participant takes towards the team (name, commits to, action, date).
  • 58. 5 : LAUNCH & BEYOND
  • 59. LAUNCH & BEYOND: STAY THE COURSE ▸ Values – Here’s what shapes our product and process. ▸ Goals – Here’s what we will accomplish—or already did. ▸ Methods – Here’s how we’re getting it done. ▸ Facts – Here’s what we’re basing our decisions on. WE WILL MAKE A NOTE OF IT. ALSO—
  • 60. LAUNCH & BEYOND: DO MORE, DO BETTER ▸ Values – Here’s what shapes our product and process. ▸ Goals – Here’s what we’ll accomplish. ▸ Methods – Here’s how we’re getting it done. ▸ Facts – Here’s what we’re basing our decisions on. THE NEVER-ENDING PUSH ▸ Values – Here’s what shapes our product and process. ▸ Goals – What’s next, and why? ▸ Methods – How can we do things better, together? ▸ Facts – What’s new? What’s changed? What’s exciting?
  • 63. ALIGNMENT IS CREATED. ALIGNMENT IS CREATIVE. ALIGNMENT IS CONSTANT. ALIGNMENT IS AWESOME.