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Stuck in the Middle: Mastering Stakeholder Management

Emily Tate
February 07, 2020

Stuck in the Middle: Mastering Stakeholder Management

Product teams sit in the middle of business, user experience, and technology. Each area has different needs in order to reach their goals, and feels that their asks should be considered the most important. As a result, teams are often put in a difficult situation of balancing the needs of many stakeholders, all while moving their product forward for their customers. This talk will cover important points of stakeholder management, and common mistakes to avoid.

Emily Tate

February 07, 2020
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  1. Mastering Stakeholder Management Emily Tate @thedailyem Stuck in the Middle

  2. @thedailyem

  3. @thedailyem

  4. “We humans are far more focused on threat than we

    are the potential of positive outcomes” Julia Whitney
 Whitney and Associates
 @thedailyem
  5. Product Management = People Management @thedailyem

  6. People Management = HARD @thedailyem

  7. Who are your stakeholders? @thedailyem

  8. Leadership Sales Team Marketing Team Development Team UX Team Legal,

    Security & Regulatory Some Dude on Twitter @thedailyem
  9. Each Stakeholder Frames the World Through Their Own Bias @thedailyem

  10. They Often Have Conflicting Views @thedailyem

  11. We Have to Find the Balance @thedailyem

  12. If your process is a product, your stakeholders are your

    users @thedailyem
  13. 1. Identify Your Stakeholders But recognize they’re not all equal

    @thedailyem
  14. 2. Interview Your Stakeholders @thedailyem

  15. • Tell me what you know about this project. •

    What are your goals for this project? • What does success look like to you? • What are your biggest fears about this project? • How would you like to be kept updated? • What problems are you the right person to solve? Stakeholder Interviews @thedailyem
  16. Synthesize notes from interviews and craft communication strategies @thedailyem

  17. 3. Communicate Regularly @thedailyem

  18. Core Team High-Touch Low-Touch • Goals Alignment • Contributor/user of

    tracking tools • Daily standup • Weekly retros • Regular ad hoc conversations • Goals Alignment • Access to tracking tools • Weekly update meeting • Weekly update email • Frequent ad hoc conversations • Goals Alignment • Weekly update email • Weekly email • Ad hoc conversations when they have questions Sample Communication Plan @thedailyem
  19. Common Mistakes @thedailyem

  20. Not Having Alignment on Goals @thedailyem

  21. Every project needs clear, prioritized goals @thedailyem

  22. Who: Core team, key stakeholders, naysayers When: At the beginning

    of any large effort, or when you sense misalignment How long: 1-2 hours Goals Alignment Workshop @thedailyem
  23. Lack of Transparency @thedailyem

  24. None
  25. What is Actually Happening: Week 1: ✅ Week 2: ✅

    Week 3: ✅ Week 4: ✅ Week 5: ✅ Week 6: ✅ Week 1: ✅ Week 2: ⚠ Week 3: ⁉ Week 4: Week 5: Week 6: My Scorecard Shows: @thedailyem
  26. None
  27. Transparency Builds Trust @thedailyem

  28. Own the good, the bad, and the ugly. @thedailyem

  29. Not Knowing What Battles to Pick @thedailyem

  30. You don’t have to win every battle the first time

    @thedailyem
  31. Not Handling Angry People @thedailyem

  32. Step 1: Exit the Situation (if possible) @thedailyem

  33. Use Your 5 Whys Why are they angry? We scheduled

    a meeting without telling them They had been designated primary contact When someone asked and they didn’t know, they looked like they weren’t doing their job It hurt their credibility @thedailyem
  34. “Help me understand why this upset you.” @thedailyem

  35. Once you understand the why, plan your next steps @thedailyem

  36. Sometimes people are just jerks. Take care of yourself. @thedailyem

  37. Falling Prey to the HiPPO @thedailyem

  38. Fight the “Swoop and Poop” • Communicate early and often

    • Data-driven decisions • Own your product • Return to goals @thedailyem
  39. Let’s Talk Politics @thedailyem

  40. It’s not playing politics. It’s having empathy. @thedailyem

  41. Building Great Products is a Team Sport @thedailyem

  42. You Need Your Stakeholders on Your Side @thedailyem

  43. Strong stakeholder management can be the difference between a good

    product manager and a great one. @thedailyem
  44. Emily Tate Chief of Staff Mind the Product Twitter: @thedailyem

    LinkedIn: /thedailyem bit.ly/Engage2020