Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gaining Buy-In

One of the key aspects of "Project Rescue Operations" is that of gaining buy-in from all the stakeholders on what must be done. Theory of Constraints offers a six-step process that is quite useful:

(1) Obtain agreement on the problem.

(2) Obtain agreement on the direction of the solution.

(3) Obtain agreement that the solution will yield the desired results.

(4) Obtain agreement that no disastrous side effects will occur.

(5) Obtain agreement on the implementation requirements and plan.

(6) Obtain agreement from all key collaborators that they can move forward with confidence.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that permission to lead the charge is not the same thing as having obtained “buy-in” … it is most likely an invitation to get far enough out in front so that when someone shoots you in the back there will be many potential (and possibly even eager) shooters. That's why #5 and (especially) #6 are so important! (These are sometimes collapsed and represented as "Obtain agreement on overcoming obstacles.", which helps clarify that point.)


Eric said...

Buy-in is one of the tougher and more time consuming parts of putting Critical Chain in place in more than just one project.

Austin Bob said...

Eric -

I agree that gaining buy-in is one of the toughest tasks and that it is even more difficult in a complex environment. I do not see that as an aspect of Critical Chain/ToC though. Rather, I think ToC highlights the need for effective buy-in early which allows for more successful project execution on that basis.