Five Tips to Get Stakeholder Buy-in for Digital Transformation

Pursuing the case for the digital transformation of an organization with the stakeholders in the organization is a thorny path. You may have to encounter a mammoth disapproval from them in your endeavor to secure a buy-in from them. 

One of the main reasons for such disapproval resistance to change. Another is lack of ideas about the perceptible benefits of going digital. 

However, personal interest too sometimes plays its role. Personal interest can be attributed to the reluctance of some stakeholders to do away with a role in which their careers have been built. 

However, there are some tricks that you can employ along with your diplomatic skills to get that crucial buy-in from stakeholders:

Balance Between Change and Continuity

Whatever be the kind of makeover you are suggesting for the organization, you must maintain some of the legacy worth keeping, and that includes strategic position, brand, and audience. You need to point out to the leadership that you are well aware of this fundamental of digital transformation. You have to put forward your arguments in such a way that it reassures the leadership that the impending digital transformation is only going to carry forward the business while maintaining the legacy.

It is a good idea to offer some case studies of organizations that have successfully implemented a digital transformation strategy while maintaining the identity of their brand.

In essence, you need to show that the transformation can strike a balance between change and continuity.

Knowing the Leadership and Their Motivation

A key point in successfully putting across your view to the leadership is identifying their motivation. This can help you stay away from touching any raw nerves and also connect better with the leadership.

You can offer the leadership an opportunity to lead the project or act as a bridge between the team implementing digital transformation and the higher authorities. Senior leaders yearn for credit, and when you offer them to act as a leader or advocate for the cause of the transformation with higher authorities they can readily buy into it.

Begin With short Meetings

Senior stakeholders may often be too busy to take time out to buy into your arguments, especially if it is as complex as digital transformation for the whole organization. So, try to introduce them to the topic progressively through short meetings and sharp recaps on project status. This is very important since the status of the project that you are leading may not be as fresh in other’s minds as it is in your mind.

Demonstrate ROI

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. In corporate parlance, ultimate success of a project is measured by ROI. One great aspect of digital transformation is that such projects are measurable. This is a handy weapon for advocates of digital transformation. You can showcase a fact-based case in favor of digital transformation. This can be done through pilot projects, case studies or experiments, but the moot point is, you need to demonstrate the ROI for this project.

If you are still not able to convince the stakeholders, you may propose going forward with Agile methodology. This methodology uses ROI as an index to determine the most important part of the project that needs to be done at that time. In such a method, the financials of the phase of the project are measured on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Try to Make it Fun, Interesting, and Engaging

You need to engage with the senior stakeholders in engaging, informative, and delightful ways so as to convince them and make them buy into our arguments. You have an opportunity here since you can use digital to make the engagement fun-filled, informative and delightful. In fact, digital itself can hand over this opportunity to you.

If the leaders don’t have much technical awareness, you need to highlight the important outcomes of the project rather than going deep into the technical details of the project. It is the outcome that leaders are bothered about.


In essence, if you are trying to get a digital makeover for your organization, you should be ready to meet some opposition. However, if you can understand the motivation of the leadership, demonstrate ROI to them and keep a balance between legacy and change, you may get the stakeholders for a buy-in for your digital transformation project. 

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