Stakeholder engagement is key to performing in the role of the product owner
“Stakeholders will only invest in your initiative if you invest in your relationship with them.” Click To Tweet
The only way to navigate the hazardous path of stakeholder engagement is by creating a map. Seriously. Make your own assessment of which stakeholders are most relevant, influential and critical to your mission.
From there you can prioritise your time and attention accordingly. If it’s appropriate, you can even be fully transparent about your mapping and present it to the stakeholders. This may help them decide whether or not they’re of value to you and your cause. The fewer the stakeholders, the less diluted your time for the important ones.
Establish your mutual expectations of each other early on and make these known. For your relationship to flourish it’s important to know what they wanna see from you. More than that, you have a duty to be upfront and explicit about what you want from them.
When you’re thinking about what you want from them, consider their speciality and how they can support you in your endeavours. In return, find out what they need from you in order to make the relationship work and decide whether its a realistic request? Once you’ve fleshed it out, review this active agreement on ongoing basis for the best outcome.
In agile scrum, stakeholder engagement is a give and take relationship. You can’t expect them know everything, so you must guide them in providing the assets, resources and behaviours you need.
Whether it’s small gestures, helpful suggestions or just listening more, invest in your relationship with them beyond simply formal agreements. The simple fact is that they will only invest in your initiative if you invest in the relationship. In the same way you have sprint retrospectives, run retros with your stakeholders and ask them frankly how they think the relationship is building. Only then will you know what you need to work on.
I hope the video and tips above get you thinking about ways that you can develop valuable, long-lasting relationships with company stakeholders. In the end, positive and conscious stakeholder management will only benefit you, your agile team and the outcome of the work.
If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, leave a comment below or send me a message through my website. Thanks for reading. See you next time!
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