Creating alignment on priorities and timelines with non-technical stakeholders is a common challenge for technical leaders. It can be difficult to get everyone on the same page and ensure that everyone's needs and goals are being met. However, with the right techniques, it is possible to manage stakeholders' expectations and create a smooth product development process. Here are five techniques that can help:
- Get alignment on your OKRs/goals: Even if the company as a whole doesn't have a shared set of goals, it's important to make it clear what goals your team is trying to achieve and how you will be prioritizing your work. This will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
- Create a global prioritization list: Work with your team to develop a list of your biggest initiative areas that will help you achieve your goals, including both technical and platform projects. At the beginning of each quarter, work with all stakeholders to review and agree on the priority of these initiatives based on what the group believes will best drive the goals. Then set the front line teams free to come up with the projects that they believe will best drive the initiatives and achieve the goals set.
- Break down initiatives into smaller projects and experiments: When working on large initiatives, you will want to be helpful to break them down into smaller projects or experiments that deliver customer value. This will make it easier to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
- Review progress regularly: To keep everyone informed and aligned, it's important to review the progress of your initiatives and projects with your stakeholders and leadership team on a regular basis. This can be done through bi-weekly meetings or a weekly email update. If the meeting starts to feel unnecessary, consider canceling it or changing the frequency to monthly.
- Create a clear intake process for new feature requests: To ensure that all stakeholders can have their needs and requests heard, it's important to have a clear process in place for submitting and tracking new feature requests. This can be done through an asynchronous system that allows stakeholders to request features at any time and check in on the status of their requests.
While using these techniques, it's helpful to adopt an agile product development process mindset. This approach allows you to continuously deliver small increments of value, providing flexibility and adaptability to changing priorities and customer needs. By using a combination of these techniques and an agile approach, you can effectively manage stakeholders' expectations and create a smooth product development process.
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