Post Road Foundation capstone team: Aligning with stakeholders (3/3)

Capstone in real-time: Following the journey of the 2020-21 Post Road Foundation team and how they aligned with stakeholders

Previous: Read about how the Post Road Foundation team avoided getting stuck

Third challenge: Alignment with stakeholders

At our final check-in with the Post Road team, the team was well-functioning in the “performing” stage and familiarized with each other’s leadership and working styles.

They were now in the position to bring all relevant stakeholders (e.g., capstone advisor, industry sponsor, faculty sponsor) in alignment with the project direction and deliverables. Initially at this near-end stage, the team found they were not quite 100% in alignment with stakeholders. Each stakeholder had a slightly different interpretation of the milestones and final deliverable. The team helped get everyone on the same page with…

Key decisions to achieve stakeholder alignment:

  1. The team called for a collective stakeholder meeting where they presented their project plan again. They strategized and made sure to align on their ideal scenario prior to the meeting. The team defended their proposal for the best path to success and what would work best based on their experience.
  2. The team made sure to get their remaining questions and concerns addressed at the collective stakeholder meeting. They identified each stakeholder’s main objective (e.g., presentations/posters vs. learnings about the mathematical equation vs. fine-tuning the model) and generated a cohesive plan to meet everyone’s expectations without causing more work for the team.

Downstream effects:

Ultimately, the team and stakeholders were able to land on a consensus for the MVP (minimum viable product) and capstone deliverable. The team expressed how critical communication skills came into play near the end of the project. Each stakeholder required a slightly different body of evidence and level of discussion to elicit key expectations. Due to the Post Road team’s strong bond at this stage, they were able to leverage each other’s strengths effectively to execute this key meeting successfully and achieve stakeholder alignment.

For more info, see the team’s capstone project — Post Road Project Brief.

Connect with the 2020–21 Post Road Foundation team: Bogdan Cristei (IEOR), Elliot Suen (CEE ), Sarah Gunasekera (ME), Sydney Holgado (CEE)

Compiled and edited by the Fung Institute team.

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