How to get key stakeholders on board to make your data protection project happen

19th November 2020data protection

You know how important data protection is.  You know that your project NEEDS to happen if your organisation is going to become and remain complaint – but how can you convince all the key stakeholders that this is the case?

Let’s face it – data protection isn’t the most exciting of things for the Executive team to spend their budget and resources on.  However, the danger of non-compliance – well that is a message they certainly need to hear – but how best can you get them on board in terms of resourcing your project both financially with the right amount of manpower?

Here are our top tips on getting stakeholder buy-in for your GDPR project.

  1. Be inclusive

Involve all the key stakeholders – not just the most senior ones or the ones who hold the purse strings, but the people who will be involved and affected by the project as it is implemented.  The thing with data protection is that it touches nearly every department in most organisations, at the very least:

                        ICT

                        Legal

                        Finance

                        Marketing

                        HR

                        Procurement

                        And of course … Compliance

 

2. Communicate early
Start speaking to all the stakeholders early in the project and ask for their thoughts and opinions.  What problems do they foresee, how would they do it, what would they get out of it, what are the costs and risks of doing the project versus not doing it, for each department and so on?  The key thing is for everyone to feel involved early and therefore take some ownership and responsibility for the success of the project.

 

  1. Communicate often

Start speaking to all the stakeholders early in the project and ask for their thoughts and opinions.  What problems do they foresee, how would they do it, what would they get out of it, what are the costs and risks of doing the project versus not doing it, for each department and so on?  The key thing is for everyone to feel involved early and therefore take some ownership and responsibility for the success of the project.

 

  1. Explain clearly what the goals of the project are

Make sure you can very clearly explain what it is that you are trying to achieve.  Data protection can be complex and is littered with abbreviations and acronyms.  Don’t blind them with science.  Come up with a good one-liner or at the very most a short paragraph then let it expand from there.

 

  1. What is in it for me?

Goals are one thing, for example – to get all our paper records onto a digital database – but what are the benefits of this?  And see if you can make the benefits RELEVANT to the different stakeholders – what is relevant and beneficial to the Finance Director will be different to what is beneficial to the Marketing Director for example.  For the Finance Director the benefit might be avoiding the risk of fines, but for the Marketing Director it might be enhancing reputation.  For the Customer Service Department a project such as this could have a huge positive impact in terms of speed of getting historical data so tailor your benefits to each audience.

 

  1. Danger

Although not big fans of scaremongering, it is important that key stakeholders understand the risks of NOT doing the project, so you should make them aware their legal obligations and the risks of non-compliance.  The risk should be stated not just in terms of fines and lawsuits but also the risk of reputational damage.

If there are any risks associated with doing the project, you should of course make them aware of these too.  (One way to mitigate risk might be to use an external consultant).

 

You need to become a salesperson here.  You need to get data protection and compliance on the agenda, and you need it to stay there.  By following the steps above and inviting everyone to join you on your data compliance journey, you stand every chance of being successful.

If you need any help or support or would like a Third Party to add some independent credibility to your supporting presentations, please get in touch with us here at The Griffin House Consultancy.  From audits to training, consultancy to an online helpdesk, most of our services are available remotely.

What can we help you with?

Book a no-obligation, complimentary Zoom consultation and one our data protection specialists will be delighted to help.

Call: +44 (0)1673 88 55 33

Email: [email protected]

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