The Story: Stakeholder and management buy-in for aligning a large scale digitalisation program

Please note, that the following is only a condensed description of the initiative. The workshop format set out below is one building block in a series of methods to capture insight and knowledge. It itself it would be too complex to be executed as a stand-alone module.

The Setting

Large enterprise with B2C/B2B product & service portfolio intends to build a cross-organisational digitalisation program. To work and use resource more effectively, associated (running & future) projects should be aligned in one consolidated roadmap.

The Characters

  • Project stream leaders/product owners
  • Program coordination team
  • Top management (steering committee)

The Conflict

  • Capture & document a large project portfolio
  • Empower project owners to share key facts easily
  • Provide indicators for aligning/optimising roadmap
  • Take individual project complexity into account
  • Find common denominators/challenges and build new alliances

Ultimate challenge
Ensure openness and buy-in to balance project autonomy and program coordination


In a series of workshops, the associated projects were on-boarded onto the approach to create understanding for the purpose of the exercise. Eventually, the projects were collaboratively captured on one consolidated canvas to allow for better alignment and coordination across projects. In the final module the projects “negotiated” the final proposal for the joint roadmap, which would be presented to the steering committee for approval.

Storyline Workshop® Twist

The key format of the entire exercise was the roadmap design workshop (8h) with all project leads present. The ambition was to capture for each individual project:

  • Complexity based on efforts for analysis, design & implementation
  • Potential length of the project
  • Currently planned start, duration & end
  • Required resource (business & central functions)

The result was a consolidated visualisation of all projects on a time line. The project leads, together with the program coordinators could then discuss & negotiate the initial proposal for the consolidated roadmap.

Workshop canvas for capturing and consolidating projects
Workshop canvas for capturing and consolidating projects

Author: Philipp

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