Bridging the gap between sales and project management: Issue 6 of 6

Wrap-up and resources

Putting the whole shebang together

This is the final instalment of our mini-series on Bridging the gap between sales and project management.

Issue 1: Assess your client & project alignment
Issue 2: From sales to project setup
Issue 3: Stakeholder types and their quirks
Issue 4: Stakeholder alignment
Issue 5: Tips for stakeholder onboarding
Issue 6: Wrap-up & resources

Let’s dig in:

You took a walk with us over the last six weeks while we unwound and explored the power of alignment during the sales and client onboarding process. We dug into some simple exercises you can run with your teams to get alignment on client and project fit. We talked about how project leads and their teams play a magical role in diagnosing the project environment and how to smooth out those tricky handovers. We broke open the inverse power relationship between stakeholder closeness to the project and their ability to champion or derail your projects. Then we spelled out some ways to set the pace and tone of your projects so you can onboard clients who trust you and keep coming back.

What now?

We’ll be letting your inboxes cool off while we develop our next series, but before I go, here’s why alignment matters. And why we’re running an apprenticeship. It’s a rant.

Alignment is one of the biggest ways you can get buy-in, make project and organizational change, and get closer to your goals as an individual and a company.

It helps you stay focused on the important human things as you build the technical things.

Alignment means your people want to show up for you and you commit to showing up for them (and everyone can see that as clear as crystal).

Alignment sets you apart from the other schmucks (okay, not all of them are schmucks) who are too afraid of change to rock the boat and who delicately sidestep the hard questions. Some call this candour.

Alignment means you can run a company or projects that have a purpose and that you can become more sustainable and intentional about the way you do that.

Alignment means you can be ready for the future. Maybe you can even change it.

If all that sounds good to you, then you are on a great path. Keep course correcting gently and working through the foggy bits together. And if you’d like a little support to dial your processes and teams just right, we can help you out.

Going a bit dark

I wasn’t going to do this to ya, but let’s say I got hit with a healthy bout of topical prioritization. I spent Monday night watching an emergency climate debate in Canada after announcements made by the IPCC, the global intergovernmental body reporting on the devastation we can expect as climate change rips this earth and its people a big brand-new-one. The consensus is that we’re screwed if we don’t make a radical global plan to cut fossil fuel emissions by 45% and go carbon neutral within 12 years. Like, impacting our kids and cats and access to food serious kind of serious. But hark: we all work in and with technology, and we have an incredible amount of power to persuade, communicate, make meaning, and shape ideas that can shift the paradigm and reinvent the future if we dare to.

In fact, over the course of three hours, I watched a bunch of polite but unyielding Canuck politicians—impassioned like hockey players with 20 seconds left in overtime—come together to declare that the status quo isn’t good enough. That to reach change, climate change couldn’t be a partisan issue and that the best offence was a good defence and more offence: a strategy of alignment to agree on what success looked like (aka human survival). I watched people of opposing ideologies with vested power smattered across various quadrants* of a political matrix wave their flags at midnight in a dusty brocade house of parlaiment and agree to work together because the goals and outcomes mattered more than they had ever mattered before. In the same way, I don’t doubt your power for a second. Your issues and outcomes are different, you are an individual part of a larger organization part of a structure of systems that make up the world but, I guess if we boil it down, we all want the same thing. Alignment can bring us together. It works on both the little and the big things we call life.

Alignment: when everyone is pulling in the same direction, fighting for the same things, uniting for the same purpose.

Maybe it’s time to ask your guts a couple hard questions and let me just grab this, here, spotlight and shine it at your abdominal region:

If you run an agency or creative firm, why are you running it?

If you’re a project lead, why do you care about your projects?

If you design or develop or write content or do research or make films, why are you creating?

When’s the last time you asked yourself what all this shit really means? Where you’re headed, how you’ll adjust as the future selects for the people and organizations who are brave enough to keep adapting? How your company will keep its chin up and facing forward as the waves keep hitting? Your KPIs won’t mean much if the world is uninhabitable. Twelve years. Sorry to freak you out, but now would be a good time to start the conversation. This chat might be just the kick you need to get alignment in a completely unexpected way. It might even change your trajectory completely.

We ain’t going gentle into that good night and we hope you ain’t either. We’re in this thing together and all those guts make us listen that much more.

PS: Folks have some good ideas.

*The Conservatives were busy rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, so the jury’s out on that quadrant.


Hey, while you’re pondering your existential future, feast your peepers on these helpful little morsels: they’ll get you and your team focusing on the right things. And remember, alignment is a process, not an endpoint.

A comprehensive list of questions you should probably ask during your project.
Project lifecycle questions

A short and sweet guide to running smooth kickoffs.
Have a great kickoff

The pros and cons of different communication approaches and some tips for tightening up your communication.
Push, pull, and interactive communication

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