A champion’s champion: How to find the right champion for your tech project

A champion is critical to the successful adoption of any tech tool or project.

But what are they? And how do you find the right champion in your team? Josef COO & Co-founder Sam Flynn explains how to spot a “champion’s champion”.

Sam Flynn, Josef COO & Co-founder

Sam Flynn, Josef COO & Co-founder

“Hey Sam, I have a favour to ask! I’m applying for [an award]. Would you be open to writing a paragraph or two about me, as a reference/support from the community?”
– Anonymous

I got this message last week from someone who used to work at one of Josef’s customers. It’s actually a message I get quite a lot – our customers are often nominated for awards. (Most recently, Pinsent Masons was nominated for a Financial Times award for a bot built on Josef.) 

I’m always happy to help, but this time I was particularly keen.

The person who asked for this reference was not just our ‘champion’ at her firm – she was the ideal champion in my mind. 

What is a champion?

If you’re not familiar with the term, a ‘champion’ in tech has three key roles.

The first is to be the “person on the ground” for the tech company or product. The champion is our first point of contact if we need something to happen within the team, like organising a training session.

The second job of a champion is the reverse: being the key point of contact for her team if they need anything from us, like doing technical scoping on a potential new solution. Champions are also often expert Josef users, meaning they can answer technical questions for the team quickly and easily.

The third and potentially most important job for the champion is to do exactly what the name suggests, “championing” the product internally by celebrating wins and building a community, and helping to connect the right people, ideas, and problems with us so that the team can get the most value out of the tool.

“A great champion must be comfortable with technology and have a penchant for problem-solving and troubleshooting. The early adopters and adventurers in your team are a good place to look.”
– Sam Flynn

Champions are a critical part of the successful adoption of any tech tool. In some larger companies and firms, this can look like an entire network of people across the world with their own communication channels, events, and special training sessions. For small organizations, it can just look like one or two keen builders.

However, not all champions are created equally. When I was asked to provide a reference for this champion, I reflected on what makes a champion great:

Win-win mindset

A successful champion must be able to focus on what matters and ignore the noise. This is particularly important for a new tool or project, and in larger organizations where processes and opinions abound. Find people who have a “win-win” mindset, meaning that they can see competing interests of different stakeholders – users, leadership, clients, the tech company – and find a way through.

Technologically adept 

As the first line of defence for any technical questions or issues, a great champion must be comfortable with technology and have a penchant for problem-solving and troubleshooting. The early adopters and adventurers in your team are a good place to look.

A people person

To drive change within an organization, your champion must understand what makes people tick. Any change management process, even if it’s about the most advanced technology in the world, is ultimately about people. If the users don’t use it, then there’s little point in making the investment. Likewise, management needs to be on board to get ongoing funding and approval. A successful champion is someone who understands this and can use that understanding to drive the right behaviours.


Part of driving the right behaviours is influencing people. This is done in different ways by different people, but largely centres around storytelling, building a community, and leading by doing.

Get shit done

Finally, a successful champion is someone who not only understands how to get shit done, but also has a mandate from leadership to do what needs to be done.


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