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Doing "Nemawashi" to the Stakeholders

Doing an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned.
August 18, 2021
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4
min read

Originally posted on my Twitter in Indonesian πŸ‘‰πŸ» Link to thread

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This morning, I just presented the design to the pillar-wide stakeholders which consisted of more than 70 people. I'm a bit grateful because I can tell you is quite smooth. However, 3 weeks before the presentation, I practiced Nemawashi who was taught by @SumitroYoel. I think this is also what makes the success percentage increaseπŸ‘‡πŸ»

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Nemawashi (ζ Ήε›žγ—) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. In Japan, high-ranking people expect to be let in on new proposals prior to an official meeting.

So for around 3 weeks, I scheduled a 1 on 1 to many individuals from various levels and positions. Approximately 15 people in total. Let me break down a little bit here.

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In the first week: Present to all product designers

Because we are still a small team (10 people), so I just set 1 on 1 with everyone. The goals are to manage and look for other POVs in the design solution.

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In the second week of my mission, I scheduled a session with influential individuals: Leadership, people who are loud and critical, people who their opinions are always listened to by the forum.

The goals are to make sure I have covered the high-level (business) needs and problems from their POV, while at the same time making them on my side.

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In the 3rd week, I scheduled with many PMs, because this project will affect almost all the projects in my pillar.

At this stage, I've made a presentation deck, as well as simulating and checking the flow present for the D day.

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After all sessions and getting insights/feedback. In the 3rd week, I also present the iteration to the Design Crit forum for further improvement before presenting it.

First experience of gathering feedback + iterations like this. It's fun and good too.

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Some of the advantages that I feel from doing this Nemawashi, the first:

Because the high-level needs & problems has been covered, we can focus on making sure from a design point of view that the solution works for the user. You can experiment with quick UT or dogfooding.

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second one:

When there are people who don't get Nemawashi ask, sometimes the ones who help answer are the question is the people who get the Nemawashi before. This people can also represent our ideas, because we have already clarified them in the Nemawashi session.

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third one:

So it's pretty nice to masters the material. Because it continues to present for 3 weeks and in the last 1 week the present simulation is real. So you can sort on the deck which ones are long-winded, which ones are good to go.

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I was a bit afraid that it would be failed because I was presenting for the first time as a new member of the team, in a fairly large forum and not using Indonesian. So the initiative to do this Nemawashi.

Looks like I'll continue to use Nemawashi.

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End of Thread. Thank you for reading!

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