How do you generate support for a project requiring big investments of both time and money?
A: Major projects require big investments of both time and money, whether the goal is installing new transmission lines, building new highways or expanding wastewater treatment plants. Gaining support to deliver such complicated jobs often calls for a commitment to collaborate, something that has become even more essential during these difficult economic times.
Engineers and their clients must collaborate so that a project resonates and funding can be secured. That means involving all stakeholders in the process to come up with the best — and most viable — project possible.
To build support for a project, focus on these three steps:
- Show benefit. Help stakeholders — lawmakers, the community and others with an interest — understand how the project
will solve a problem and improve their lives.
- Welcome input. Give stakeholders an opportunity to help shape the project, within identified constraints.
- Let data drive. Compile information about current needs and future projections. See that any economic outlook stretches beyond short-term construction jobs to add long-term benefits such as desirability for development, broadening of the overall tax base and improved accessibility to larger markets.
Remember, the payoff from collaboration often amounts to a long-term proposition, with benefits accruing over time. And that leads to assets and relationships that our clients, communities and, in turn, corporation can value for years to come.
Julie Lorenz is a project manager and senior strategic consultant in the Burns & McDonnell Transportation Group. Contact her at 816-822-3195.