Like it or not, there are people outside of your product team who want to know what you’re up to and how things are progressing. Depending on your outlook on communicating with stakeholders, this is either a great opportunity or a necessary evil.
Either way, you want to find ways to keep your stakeholders informed that get them the information they need while at the same time not adding an undue burden to you and your team.
Here are some perspectives on communicating with stakeholders that you may find helpful the next time you have to let people in your organization know what’s up.
How do you communicate with stakeholders?
When you communicate with stakeholders you need to consider their relationship to your product as well as the amount of detail they’re looking for. In my latest post, I shared the criteria I consider when planning the communication mechanisms I use to keep stakeholders up to speed with my progress on a product and identify a set of techniques I use based on the level of detail my stakeholders are interested in.
How Product Managers Should Deal with Different Stakeholder Types
“The product management community often uses the term stakeholder management as shorthand for how product managers communicate with executives and investors. But the truth is every product has many different types of stakeholders. And, each type of stakeholder has different priorities and expectations for product management. Understanding how to manage different types of stakeholders will serve you well both in shipping successful products and in your product management career.” Andre Theus reviews a few different types of stakeholders and how best to work with them.
Getting to Effective Stakeholder Communication
As a product manager, you are asked to build a shared understanding between engineering and marketing. This type of communication is a core skill. It’s the kind of skill that allows you to effectively corral, influence, and work across an organization to drive product enhancements. Melody Koh and Alexandria Stried shared dos and don’ts for helping you learn to master communication and collaboration with the people you work with most often: senior leadership, your own teams, key cross-functional stakeholders, and your customers.
A Product Manager Communication Survival Guide featuring John Cutler
The burden of communicating among teams, in between departments, and being the go-to get-it-done-person for CEOs and managers tends to fall heavily on the product person’s shoulders. As PM, you’re the one building a shared understanding of what’s going on. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré channeled John Cutler to explain how you can go about keeping all the communication straight so that you don’t build an extremely confused and muddled shared understanding between all of your stakeholders.
How to communicate with Stakeholders
Digital product school asked Eugenio Tella, Head of Product Management at Global Savings Group “What did you want to know when starting your career as a product manager?”
In response, Eugenio shared the challenges he faced alongside the lessons he learned on how to communicate with stakeholders when scaling a startup company. His answer was in the context of a startup, but they are relevant for people working on internal products in more established organizations as well.