Stakeholders (board members, directors, managers, and other decision makers) are the key to implementing emerging technologies, including drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, 3D printing, wearable technology, and others, in your academic library or resource center, and it’s important to get them on board to support your initiatives in this area. By doing your research — including thinking through the questions below and those on the accompanying checklist —you’ll be prepared to meet with your stakeholders to discuss your plans.
- Who are your stakeholders and what do they have to gain? Stakeholders come in all shapes, sizes and areas of expertise. Your role is to find out who they are, what their needs are, what their areas of expertise are, and how they can support your emerging technology projects. The most critical piece to getting your stakeholders on board to support your technology initiatives, however, is addressing the question “What’s in it for them?” This will get their attention every time.
- What are the costs? Research what your costs will be and create a budget. Find creative ways to fund your initiatives by researching grants and other funding opportunities such as partnerships.
- What are the risks? Know what your potential risks are and how you will address them. Some potential risks might be budget cost overruns or staffing issues such as a key person resigning or going on maternity or sick leave.
- What is the timeline? When do you want or need to implement these technologies? Have you planned for possible delays such as funds not being available? You need to have a detailed timeline, from your first kickoff meeting with your initiative’s team, to your stakeholder meeting where you present your proposal, to getting signoff on the project.
- What training will you offer? Perform a needs assessment to determine who will need to be trained, what training you will offer, what your training costs will be, and who will pay for them. Once you have all of this in place, you will select the trainer(s) and the training model (such as “train the trainer”) that you will use.
Stakeholder Buy-In Checklist for Implementing Emerging Technologies
Here is a downloadable checklist that you can follow to prepare for getting your stakeholders on board to implement emerging technologies in your library. If you address all of the issues on this list, you have a very good chance of having your stakeholders support your initiatives.
This article summarizes a few tips on how to get stakeholder buy-in for implementing emerging technologies in your academic library, but there are more available in my upcoming book, Emerging Library Technologies: It’s Not Just for Geeks. The book will be published in August 2018 and covers the role that libraries play in emerging technology trends, including artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, augmented/virtual reality, big data, 3D printing, and more.