Compliance with all stakeholder requirements is critical to the success and progression of all projects. We manage this successfully by ensuring we have formed relationships with people in all key areas of their organisation as early as possible. This greater understanding of individual mindsets and priorities allowed us to tailor our service to promote integrated working, enhanced visibility and seek time efficiencies. We do this through consistency of processes, setting expectations in a scalable and consistent manner and simplifying processes and reporting structures so that they are understood and work at every level of the business.
We establish a clear picture of stakeholder groups and get a detailed understanding of concerns and their perspective of what constitutes a successful project, this allows us to assess the mood of the stakeholders and understand what is driving their feedback. Are they supportive of change? Objective? politically or financially motivated? Are examples of some of the key questions we make a priority. During the restrictions, streamlining our processes and reporting procedures and aligning this to how we operate has allowed us, not only to ensure all the information is correctly captured and reviewed, but it also provided us with an open knowledge base, allowing us to gather and analyse data to inform design solutions and project outcomes. The feedback gathered provides us with a wealth of information that will allow us to build an even stronger picture of our clients and their customers.
This information is now key when we are preparing for new projects, looking at ways in which our clients use information and allowing us to tailor our future services and outputs to further meet the expectations of our clients. The quality of data and the time and effort we required from our stakeholders (we all got a bit zoom’d/teams’d out!) was always at the forefront of our minds. So we were very conscious in making sure when we were developing solutions/methods of data collection for our clients it was efficient and user friendly.
Ensuring we delivered our engagement in line with best practice guidelines took thought and testing. We have to keep in mind that our clients and people are operating within different sectors with their own set of specific requirements. We tested our learnings and shared our knowledge with our teams to guide our practices and deliver our projects with our clients individual requirements in mind. Our testing showed us that there were different times of the day to best suit the collation of feedback, so we have learnt to be flexible in our approach and be open to timescales that are best for the people we need to engage with us.
We don’t want to deliver projects and services that are on par with others in the eyes of our clients. We are always working to exceed client and stakeholder expectations and look to add value for them when they engage with us. The engagement process really needs to be two way street and the people consulted also need to feel their input is bringing value to the process.
During the pandemic, technology allowed us to create a space in which we could promote open and honest communication, at all times. Challenges to a project can occur when and where they are least expected, and it is how the team responds to these challenges that will ultimately influence a project’s success. All stakeholders to the project have aspirations/expectations that have to be carefully managed and at times there will be differences of opinion. We provide leadership and guidance to evaluate, on an impartial basis, the merits of opinions and solutions and ultimately help drive the decision making process to the correct conclusion.
Our long-established approach to the way we are and the way we do business with individuals has allowed us to overcome the changes and challenges the COVID pandemic has posed, and quickly put our clients and their stakeholders’ minds at rest. The key to our years of success is a focus on continuous engagement to ensure that actions and issues are identified and shared early, ensuring that solutions and results have been evaluated before implementation. During the pandemic it has been our commitment to this process, along with our knowledgeable and honest approach that has given our clients the confidence to trust us when we face unexpected challenges. To trust that we have their needs at the heart of every project and to trust that, although we have all had to adapt to changes during this year, the changes we have implemented have been planned and developed carefully. This allowed us to increase and in some instances, improve communication within the teams we work and engage with, to deliver to standards that hold us high above our competition.
Looking to the future, I think there will be a return to a ‘normality’ of sorts in areas of our working practice and we can’t wait to get that real human interaction again. But there will also be aspects of the tools we have developed during the pandemic that will stay with our business and allow us to build an even stronger foundation for success, for our clients, for our stakeholders and for Vextrix.