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Stakeholders & ‘What’s in it for me’ (WIIFM)

When I started working in Knowledge Management (KM), I would often come across teams who were not contributing to the KM process and were just busy reinventing the wheel over and over to solve the repeat issues rather than utilizing the potential of the knowledge base. 

Upon inquiry, I found the primary reason to be that the teams had no visibility of the objectives of their KM strategy and the benefits. 

To the core, the teams were not aware of the ‘What’s in it for them or what’s in it for me’.

This is a bigger issue than just one team, often stakeholders are not aware of why a particular change is happening and what are they going to get out of it. When we miss out on connecting with our stakeholders, we risk impacting the buy-in and jeopardizing of the whole project, program, or change, it is critically important to connect with them. 

WIIFM is a powerful tool to achieve the connection with the stakeholders. 

To create a useful WIIFM make sure to initiate the conversation with the stakeholders in their own language (use their own terminology) and this is where we form a connection and invite them to actively participate. Having the WIIFM’s tailored to the stakeholders needs allow them to see the positive side of change(s). 

While creating WIIFM step into the stakeholders shoes and address their pain points, convey the benefits for them. For example:

  • By capturing knowledge on incidents, support teams can empower the service desk or other levels of assistance. They can utilize the saved time to investigate more complex issues and address them faster, thereby improving the customer experience. Hence from support teams point of view ‘by doing shift left they can increase the capacity of the team and work on more complex issues and develop skills’ is a WIIFM for implementing KCS*;
  • From end user/support teams point of view ‘easy access to up to date knowledge’ is also a WIIFM for implementing KCS.


As a result, when the stakeholders feel connected, they would be more open to talk about their challenges and will provide feedback. Considering their feedback will immensely improve their engagement and the overall change. 
 

The WIIFM is a powerful tool and should be an integral part of the communication plan in any project.  

*KCS is a Registered Service Mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation. 

If your interested to learn more around KCS, we would invite you to read the KCS blog series:
– Blog: What is KCS? 
– Blog: Top 5 benefits of implementing KCS