Defining the Scope of Enablement Projects
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Enablement professionals are accustomed to wearing many hats. They are adept problem-solvers ready to jump in to support projects and initiatives for sales and revenue-facing teams. The function’s maturity can vary depending on the size of the enablement team or how enablement is defined. Creating a detailed scope of work is critical when setting expectations, achieving goals and scaling initiatives.
Building out a scope of work creates a detailed list of the goals, tasks, and milestones enablement teams can anticipate to complete on a specific project they own, like onboarding, for example. Creating a strategic scope of work statement provides visibility to various stakeholders on the resources needed to complete the project successfully and how enablement plans to achieve what they set forth to accomplish.
“Whether you’re focused on training and development activities or enablement tools and technology, you will undoubtedly have to use project management skills to deliver value to the organization,” said Jeromy Proulx, head of technology solutions and transformation at Humana. “Over the last decade, the emergence of agile project management has created greater alignment, in my opinion, with the enablement space as you think about some of the core principles and agile methodologies.”
Below, explore how to build a statement of work to tackle the initiatives that matter most to the organization, deliver maximum value, and protect the bandwidth of an enablement team’s capabilities by sharpening the enablement function’s focus throughout the business.
Get Clear on Specific Areas of Focus Within the Scope
Narrowing in on the main focus areas for enablement to support will not only help guide conversations with various stakeholders but also help mitigate any misunderstandings to set expectations clearly and concisely. It’s critical that whether enablement focuses on onboarding, managing content, or enhancing productivity among reps, the function can communicate its objectives and goals for a specific project dedicated to that area of focus.
“Without a clearly defined and documented scope, you’ll end up moving the goalpost for the project and driving an increased risk of going behind schedule or, more adversely, over budget,” said Proulx.
As enablement teams build out their scope of work, it can be beneficial to think through the area of focus that specific project is tackling to understand what the enablement team is responsible for versus what other teams may be more equipped to handle. This will help make scaling programs more efficient and provide clarity on when and how to pull in the necessary resources and stakeholders needed to complete the project on time and within a certain budget. For example, understanding if the project is applicable to an entire group of reps or only ones in a specific market or buyer group can help put the scope of the project into perspective and help enablement teams get more granular on the steps needed to deliver value to the sales organization.
Defining the specific areas of focus that enablement touches on helps to ensure teams are focused on the right priorities to streamline processes and ultimately produce more impactful results.
Provide a Milestone Schedule
With the focus areas clearly outlined, putting together a timeline on what the enablement team can realistically accomplish can help practitioners monitor the project’s progress. Identifying milestones step by step can also help illuminate potential obstacles or areas that require additional resources well ahead of the deliverable’s due date.
Attaching dates to each milestone is a great way to signal to other stakeholders what is urgent or deemed a priority to drive cross-functional accountability. It can also be helpful as milestones are identified to think through what a possible contingency plan may look like if a milestone is missed or cannot be completed and what actions enablement can take to reach the next milestone in a timely manner.
Include Stakeholders Every Step of the Way
For every project scope, including a full list of stakeholders is critical in ensuring the project’s success. In doing so, practitioners can inform the right parties at the right stages and avoid unnecessary confusion on roles and responsibilities. As the scope is being built out, it can be helpful to think through the various teams and roles responsible for completing each milestone or task outlined.
For example, suppose enablement wants to launch a new onboarding program for reps. Including sales managers in this roll-out is critical to reinforcing learning among their reps and helping to drive accountability and adoption. Teams like product marketing are also essential to provide the subject matter expertise needed to accurately position the product and messaging within the program.
“Keep it simple but comprehensive,” said Rachel Chambers, head of enablement at Marketplacer. “Outline what will be delivered when, what are the risks, what are the dependencies and share it with your stakeholders. Ask them how often they want to be kept informed of the progress and what method they want to be kept updated with. It’s important to keep the communication going and keep the plan visible.”
It can be helpful to directly assign stakeholders to elements of the scope to help delineate the roles and responsibilities needed for the project to succeed.
Establish Parameters Early and Often
Establishing a scope includes putting guardrails into place to protect the time and bandwidth of enablement team members and to set achievable goals and expectations. One way to achieve this is by allotting a certain number of hours to each team you support. Using this strategy also helps ensure that all the teams that enablement supports get equal time and attention.
“Anything you say no to, make sure to document, as it’s going to be vital in helping you get more resources in the future as you want to grow out the enablement team,” said Chambers. “Then you can say we were unable to deliver ‘X’ number of training sessions or build ‘X’ pieces of content to meet the needs of our sales team due to resourcing.”
A detailed scope of work helps streamline more challenging conversations while keeping the enablement team on track and focused on achieving measurable, specific, and scalable goals. Defining the scope of work for an enablement project is essential for setting the stage for what will ultimately be a successful and valuable support to various revenue-generating projects throughout the entire organization.
“Through the lessons I’ve learned and my experience, spending this extra time upfront will save you a lot of pain and time in the long run,” said Chambers. “It will help build better relationships, greater adoption of your change, and essentially get you better results.”
Download our template below to get started building a scope of work for an enablement project or initiative.