When you’re involved with a community organisation, it can be hard to get momentum on a big project. So what are the keys to getting moving and turning your group’s idea into a reality? Here are our five top tips for moving from chatter around the clubroom to action.
#1 DEVELOP A SHARED VISION
If you want success, it’s critical that your club identifies a shared vision about the direction of the project. When everyone is informally sharing and discussing a concept, often outside a formal context, it’s really easy for similar, yet divergent, views about what the project is about to form but still believe you are all on the same page.
Taking time to formally gather as a group and articulate what individuals are focused on in terms of the project and then work as a group to form a consensus opinion as to a shared vision is incredibly empowering. No longer is it this nebulous ‘
#2 ENGAGE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS
Being excited and passionate about a project as an individual organisation is rarely going to be enough to get a major project happening. Investing time in identifying who your key stakeholders are is well worth the effort. This plan can support you in strategically engaging with them to brief them on what you are planning, seek their perspectives and identify how they can work with you on the project (this could be anything from providing funding, through to something simple but vital such as championing your cause).
Maintaining the relationship with your key stakeholders throughout the process of activating and implementing your project is also critical. Spending some time to consider how you will manage communications with these supporters will set your club up well to bring everyone along with the project, keeping them informed and excited about the project.
#3 DO IT PROPERLY THE FIRST TIME AROUND
In all likelihood, you aren’t going to get two shots at a big project. Thinking big and aiming to do it properly the first time is critical. Dream big and seek to activate the ideal solution up front is our advice. In adopting this approach, it’s really important to get your vision right but also being really clear about the project cost and the benefits of implementation. Having a really strong business case for the project will help funders say ‘yes’ to
#4 PLAN FOR SUCCESS
We all know the old saying ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ and this is absolutely the case when it comes to major projects. It’s important to consider that planning goes beyond just the project implementation. Planning around a range of parallel processes will help with clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness, making it easier for your club staff and volunteers to bring the project to fruition. Some areas to consider developing formal plans for, in addition to a project plan, include:
- Stakeholder Engagement Plan
- Communication Plan;
- Risk management plan; and
- Project management plan.
#5 ASK FOR SUPPORT
Sometimes it feels like it’s easier and cheaper to keep it all in-house. But often it is completely worth the investment of bringing in some external support. If volunteers largely drive your organisation, or if your staff are already super busy focused on service delivery, getting some outside assistance can really move things along.
The other huge benefit of this strategy is you get access to insights, knowledge, and expertise that can add depth to your approach, as well as freeing you up to do the things that you are great at and are the reason you got involved in the organisation in the first place – which probably wasn’t planning and implementing major projects.