How Product Managers Can Manage Stakeholders Without Going Crazy

Luke Grimstrup

Managing stakeholders is an important part of a Product Manager’s role. Every organization is different, and every stakeholder group is different, but some of the key strategies are the same.

Here are seven tips I’ve discovered along the road that will help you ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward and keeping everyone informed. Keeping everyone on the same page is a force multiplier; it can keep teams focused and can build trust and transparency.

1. 📝 Choose the right communication channels

Every company, team, and stakeholder group is different. So it’s important you choose the right communication channels that are going to be the most effective for consistently getting your message out there. This might be a regular meeting, sending an email, or a slack update. Each has its own pros and cons you’ll need to weigh up.

2. 🤔 Set expectations for how often you will communicate

Depending on the nature of the project or objective you’re working on, you will want to set expectations for how often you will communicate updates.

Important: This is your chance to avoid more recurring meetings from stacking up in your calendar!

3. 📆 Stick to a schedule

Failure to stick to a schedule here will result in a NEW recurring meeting with stakeholders, which will generally consume more time overall in prep and the actual meeting, than committing to sending updates asynchronously.

The best trick here is to block out your calendar to communicate updates. However long you typically need to pull together everything for a quick update.

4. 🗣 Make sure your stakeholders are prepared in advance

This comes down to being open and transparent. If there are new updates or changes, aim to get key stakeholders ready in advance. Particularly before meetings where changes might be discussed.

It’s in your best interests to give everyone time to digest information rather than share new information and changes and expect decisions to be made all within the same call to ensure high-quality feedback and decision making.

5. 🛠 Take advantage of online tools to make communication easier

There are a plethora of strategies out there that try to make communication easier, yet we still default to experiencing meeting hell. You can quickly and simply utilize these tools to your advantage to regain time on your calendar by investing the time in producing reports, dashboards, task management solutions so individuals may keep up with progress and follow through on keeping people informed via slack and email.

6. 😟 Address any questions or concerns as soon as they come up

When questions or concerns come up, address them right away. Let people know how who and when issues and concerns will be addressed.

Pro-tip: Include the outcomes of these concerns in your regular updates as well!

7. 💪 Celebrate successes and learn from failures

Learning from the wins is just as important as dissecting and learning from failures. Calling out the recent wins is a great way to balance out your updates, which can tend to be negatively focused on outstanding actions, issues, and challenges.

If you’d like to find out more

If you’d like to learn how you can save time and eliminate “surprises” when dealing with stakeholders and streamline your progress reporting, then schedule a quick 20-minute call. Let’s talk and see if we can help you keep others more informed. I wish you the best of success, and I hope this information is useful!

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