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Managing stakeholder relationships: The key to successful product features

WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE WEBINAR HERE: https://www.userlane.com/webinars/managing-stakeholder-relationships-the-key-to-successful-product-features

As a product owner, not only are you required to know the ins and outs of your own product but you are also expected to strategically manage internal and external factors that can influence your product vision.

This is why flawless cross departmental collaboration among stakeholders is paramount to develop successful product features and to productively manage your tasks as a product manager.

Expert Product Manager Megan Bubley shows how you can:

Properly manage stakeholders and deliver winning features
Utilize organizational relationship management to support your product roadmap
Prioritize feature requests based on business objectives
Fine-tune critical communications across various departments
Align on metrics and develop realistic timelines

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Managing stakeholder relationships: The key to successful product features

  1. 1. Table of Contents 1. Background 2. Defining the role of a PM 3. Overview of the software development lifecycle 4. Identifying your stakeholders. 5. Getting everyone on the same page 6. Reporting feature performance and next steps 7. Rinse and repeat the process 8. Q&A
  2. 2. The Many Different Flavors of Product Management ● Many different types of Product Managers, to name a few: ○ B2B ○ Infrastructure/Data ○ Marketing ○ B2C ● Product Managers are responsible for: ○ Prioritization ○ Identifying the “User” need ○ Assessing risk + rewards ○ Alignment ○ Communication - all of it!
  3. 3. The Role of The Product Manager “As Product Managers we must always remember that our role is to look outwards at least as much as we look inwards. Although the product delivery process is noisier and demands a lot of attention, let’s keep in mind that our job is to create value for our customers and consequently, for the business.”
  4. 4. The Development Process Defined by PMs The Development Process Defined by Everyone Else
  5. 5. The Main Players in Successful Feature Development and Delivery Identify the user need you’re solving for. The Customer The Business The Future Align on business priorities and metrics. What does this feature require and can we support it?
  6. 6. Align On User Need To Prevent Scope Creep ● What’s the user need and is solving it worthwhile? ● How can we validate this is the right user need to solve for? ○ Consider complexity vs. value ○ Craft your hypothesis ○ Consider the support costs ● What will we cut if we run into blockers? ● How will we iterate on this feature going forward? Focus on the user need you’re trying to solve for, so you can achieve the desired outcomes with the least amount of added complexity.
  7. 7. Crafting a Compelling Feature Story ● Circulate ideas with stakeholders early on to ensure they feel informed and included in the process. ● Use data to highlight the user need you’re solving for to build a compelling feature story. ● Focus conversations around the learnings and insights you will gain from testing, less on performance outcomes. ● Anticipate departmental concerns and be ready to address them using the language they find most meaningful.
  8. 8. Define the Business Value For Stakeholders Be prepared to speak to the following: ● What does success look like? ● How much time and effort is required to build this feature and why? ● What does this feature “touch” and what’s required to support it going forward? ● How confident are we that this is the right solution - how will we know and what if it’s not? Prior to project kick off, circulate your ideas and loop in stakeholders individually to share your plan and gain their buy in.
  9. 9. Schedule kick off meetings with stakeholders and provide regular status updates. Timeline + Key DatesProject Scope and Phases A/B Testing + Release Make sure everyone is aligned on the plan and scope of the project. Discuss test and roll out strategy regularly. Predicting Success (No Magic 8 Ball Required)
  10. 10. Use Project Kickoffs and Task Force Meetings to Align and Manage Expectations Make sure all stakeholders are clear on the project goals by: ● Sharing a meeting agenda before meeting. ● Using project kick offs to share updates and align on strategy - Find the format that works best for your team! ● Identifying which metrics you will be impacting and reviewing them regularly as a team. ● Share out your hypothesis and test validation strategy frequently so everyone knows what to expect. ● Communicating key dates and aligning on communication cadence.
  11. 11. Aligning on Project Scope + Terminology ● Have one source of truth for status updates, and make sure that everyone knows what the status actually means! ● Call out what’s in scope and what’s out of scope, and be prepared to speak to how and why that feature was prioritized. ● When reducing scope of a project, prevent issues with stakeholders by looping them into the conversation early on.
  12. 12. Tips For Providing Status Updates ● Build trust with stakeholders by establishing your communication process early on. ○ Regular updates are key to building trust and credibility with your team. ○ Don’t be afraid to change up the format or cadence for delivery if something isn’t working. ● Review project status, goals, and performance metrics regularly. ○ Keep stakeholders updated on the status of the build process, especially when things are going wrong! ● Missing a deadline is no cause for panic! ○ The more proactive you can be in your communication, the better. ○ Understand the impact and be able to address concerns on a departmental level.
  13. 13. Reporting Your Results Assess performance and next steps based on test success metrics. Analyze The Data Share Key Learnings Define Next Steps Document and share out in a format that works best for your team. Address the learnings and next steps so everyone is aligned. A Little Art + A Little Science
  14. 14. Celebrate The Wins No Matter The Test Outcome ✔ Document results ✔ Communicate the key learnings ✔ Celebrate wins ✔ Use learnings to drive product strategy
  15. 15. Thank you for joining! May 29, 2019