I am a huge fan of reading.  There is so much stuff out there to read!  There are so many amazing resources.  And I recently stumbled upon this article on the McKinsey & Company site, “E before I:  Why engagement needs to come first in planning infrastructure” by London’s Deputy Mayor of Transport, Isabel Dedring.  https://www.mckinsey.com/insights/infrastructure/E_before_I_Why_engagement_needs_to_come_first_in_planning_infrastructure?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1506#ptlink.fid=23542&isc=1&did=bookmark.aa1ef80d89d97a63b7a5ee25dd1aa38e2fa59cd3&ctp=article

In any project, whether public or private, there will always be impacted stakeholders.  Ms. Dedring brings home the point that those stakeholders have opinions that need to be heard, and in her case the stakes are high, she’s dealing with very large projects, a very large constituency, and very large dollars (or pounds really).   And she makes several points I absolutely agree with and preach on as often as I can, that early engagement can help:

  • Break down barriers
  • Help uncover new and better ideas
  • Help identify new potential funding sources
  • Gain support
  • Discover additional methods deeper engagement
  • “……deliver better projects, tighter budgets, and clearer benefits.”

But even more critical is that all of that information doesn’t sit on a shelf.  Ms. Dedring and her team obviously understand that uncovering the information is an imperative step, but success depends on what you do with it!

In the life of any project, why engagement must come FIRST!