3 Questions to Achieve Executive Level Buy-in

Published on 17 December 2020
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When you identify a poorly performing system or process, how do you express the issue effectively and succinctly to achieve buy-in?

The answer? A key tool in the Define Phase: The Problem Statement. 

All projects start with a problem that needs solving, and the first condition of solving a problem is understanding it – you can’t fix what you don’t know – and this is what the Problem Statement first and foremost achieves.  A well crafted Problem Statement will not only improve your own understanding of the problem, but will allow you to:

  • Effectively communicate the issue to other stakeholders
  • Be more successful at executing process improvement projects
  • And most importantly, help you achieve buy-in, through effectively communicating the impact and consequences of the problem

Concerned only with facts, a Problem Statement is a concise description clearly defining the problem. It identifies the current state and determines the gap between this, and the desired ‘goal’ state. In doing so, it is a critical component of a project and ensures that the project team, and all invested parties, are on the same page with a common understanding of the issues they are working on solving. If a problem statement is poorly defined, team members may understand the problem differently, potentially resulting in conflicts and slowing down progress towards a common goal.  

“An approximate answer to the right problem is worth a great deal more than the exact answer to an approximate problem” 

– John Tukey – American Mathematician

Whilst there are many templates for creating a Problem Statement, we have established just 3 logical questions you can ask yourself, to 1) establish the problem, 2) the gap between your current state and your desired future state, and 3) most importantly, the impact of this deficiency – which is where buy-in develops.

Watch the video to discover these 3 important questions, so you can effectively obtain executive level buy-in for your process improvement project.