It’s time to shift from Stakeholder management to Stakeholder cooperation

Stakeholder management is one of the sought-after skills required in a Product Manager. A PM interacts with stakeholders individually and makes an attempt to convince them to onboard on a plan or to negotiate with them. This approach looks flawless in theory but it has its own pitfalls.

  1. Individual stakeholders don’t have the whole picture most of the time which a PM has & thus it leads to a lack of understanding & faith among the stakeholders.
  2. Aggregated wisdom & creativity of the group remains unused. Most of the unconventional ideas are brewed when the team come together and brainstorm.
  3. Difficulty in aligning against the shared goals & get their commitment.

What is the solution to this problem❓

The solution lies in creating a stakeholder gang whose teammates work closely for a longer duration of time & gradually develop mutual trust & respect for each other. The key is to make a shift from stakeholder management to stakeholder cooperation.

You can follow the below steps to make that transition :

  • Shape a steady group 👥
    It is important to limit any changes to the group & convince team members to collaborate with you for a considerably longer duration. This is necessary so that teammates get to know each other well and establish trust among each other. Furthermore, it helps to save time and energy in explaining the product and the context to the new member every single time.
  • Apply synergy to goal setting 🎯
    The most trusted way to nurture mutual understanding & orient team members is to collaboratively set goals. It’s an uphill task because the team might include some dominating stakeholders who would assert their agenda in the beginning. As a PM, you need to ensure that norms of the group are set and each member of the group gets sufficient opportunity to voice their opinion.
  • Construct transparent roles and responsibilities 🪞
    In order to ensure that there is no confusion among the team members about their roles and responsibilities, it is imperative to design a crisp description of each role. Clearly call out the role name, team name, responsibility, & key tasks in the role description document.
  • Drive positive group dynamics 🧨
    Post-COVID, it has become quite a challenge to work together with a team in a cohesive manner. The frequent video calls are an alternative but in order to ensure that the group thrives on the values of a powerful and effective community, it is crucial to bring them together by conducting an offsite meet and having team-building exercises. It will help to restore & nourish bonding between the individuals.

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