Product Stakeholder

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Short Description

A product stakeholder is an individual (or group) who is interested in the product and can impact its success or get impacted by the product. A stakeholder includes everyone who should contribute to the product and approve different product elements, such as planning, developing, testing, and similar others. Similarly, stakeholders also include those individuals or groups who purchase the product or who facilitate in marketing and selling the product.

Product Stakeholder

The product development phase is not an isolated activity. It requires coordination among different teams and other parties throughout the product cycle from the product planning phase to its release. We know the importance of the role played by the product development team and product manager, but there are other key players too, collectively called product stakeholders. In this article, we will clear our concept around product stakeholders.

What is a Product Stakeholder?

A product stakeholder is an individual (or group) who is interested in the product and can impact its success or get impacted by the product. A stakeholder includes everyone who should contribute to the product and approve different product elements, such as planning, developing, testing, and similar others. Similarly, stakeholders also include those individuals or groups who purchase the product or who facilitate in marketing and selling the product.

Types of Product Stakeholders

There are two main types of product stakeholders, as follow:

  1. Internal Product Stakeholders: Internal product stakeholders are the individuals or groups that are coming from within the company’s corporate body. They can include a development team, managers, salespersons, executives, etc.
  2. External Product Stakeholders: External product stakeholders are the individuals or groups that are coming from outside. They can include users, customers, investors, suppliers, etc.

Examples of a Product Stakeholders

In a typical product development process, a list of product stakeholders can include:

  • Team members
  • Product manager(s)
  • Executives
  • Owner
  • Resource manager(s)
  • Suppliers
  • Investors
  • Customers
  • Users
  • And so on.

How to Deal with Product Stakeholders?

As narrated above, there are many stakeholders associated with the product, but not all stakeholders need attention all the time. Therefore, the product manager should identify key product stakeholders through stakeholder analysis for effective correspondence with them. Following are general practices to deal with product stakeholders effectively:

  1. Identify All Stakeholders: First, a product manager or the development team should list down all the stakeholders that are associated with the product, including all the internal and external ones. Some stakeholders come into action in the later stages of the product lifecycle, but it is fruitful to know about them beforehand.
  2. Prioritize Stakeholders: Once all the stakeholders are shortlisted, the next step is to prioritize them. It is important because it helps the product manager and the team to know who are the key stakeholders they should talk to. Stakeholders can be prioritized via finding answers to questions such as what level of interest and power they have, how valuable is their input, etc.
  3. Understand Stakeholders: Once the product manager and the team have prioritized stakeholders, they should now understand the expectations of stakeholders about the product. This could be done by a meeting session or other approaches.

It is not an easy job to manage product stakeholders because everyone has a different set of opinions and expectations. But keeping stakeholders satisfied is crucial for timely and quality product deliveries. Moreover, supportive stakeholders can be highly valuable for product teams, as they might assist in getting approvals, allocating budgets, targeting customers, etc.

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