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Managing Stakeholders – 5 Tips from 2 Product VPs


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Unless you are working by yourself, you have to deal with stakeholders. But how do you do it? How do you persuade those that control your resources (people, budget, and systems) that your idea is the best one for your product? What if this skill is the difference between a successful product manager and a mediocre one? Come to this session to understand how to manage your stakeholders, how to craft your message, how to say “yes” and how to say “no” to senior leaders, and how to get the outcome you want, as if your idea was the stakeholder’s idea. Here from two experienced product leaders and your peers to gain skills that could change your career!

Published in: Software
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Managing Stakeholders – 5 Tips from 2 Product VPs

  1. 1. • Know the answer to “What’s in it for me?” • Communicate clearly • Influence priorities
  2. 2. Who Are PM Stakeholders? PM CEO / GM R&D Sales / Marketing Finance/ HR/IT SupplierOps / Mfg Channel partner Support Customer • Stakeholders may be sponsors, collaborators, service providers or consumers • Understanding all stakeholders is key to a successful product
  3. 3. Role WhatThey Need What I Need CEO / GM A product plan that supports business goals and company strategy Funding, time, support from other functional heads R&D Architect Clear product definition, timely feedback, voice of the customer Excellent design, quality development, regular communication SalesVP A product the customer wants, training, a partner Feedback, courage, relentless pursuit Marketing Lead Understanding of customer problems Market positioning and campaigns Customer Support Product training, high quality, ease of use Excellent customer service, feedback  Develop your stakeholder list  Know what they care about  Follow up, don’t assume  Once is not enough!
  4. 4. Best Practices
  5. 5. • SCORE – a simple model to think through and present your case. • Situation – what’s happening? • Challenge – what’s the challenge or problem? • Options – what options were considered? • Recommend – what’s the recommendation? • Execution – what do we do next? • Make sure to capture • The decision – “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe”, “Later”, … • Next steps Tip #1 Craft a Clear and Compelling Case (alliteration helps)
  6. 6. Tip #2 Build a stakeholder influence map
  7. 7. **Stakeholder Map exercise credit:
  8. 8. Tip #3 Say “No” to dumb ideas - respectfully!
  9. 9. Tip #4 Practice transparency
  10. 10. Tip #5 Be conversant in their language (Parlez vous finance?)