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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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CHAPTER 61Managing Stakeholders

For many product managers, managing stakeholders is probably the least favorite part of their job. I don't want to suggest that this will always be easy, but it can usually be substantially improved.

First, let's consider just who is a stakeholder, then what the product manager's responsibilities are with these stakeholders. After that, we'll talk about techniques for success.

Stakeholder Defined

In many product companies, just about anyone and everyone feels like they have a say in the products. They certainly care about the product, and they often have many ideas—either derived from their own use, or from what they hear from customers. But, regardless of what they think, we would not consider most of them to be stakeholders. They are just part of the community at large—another source of input on the product, along with many others.

One practical test of whether a person is considered a stakeholder is whether or not they have veto power, or can otherwise prevent your work from launching.

This group of people typically includes:

  • The executive team (CEO and leaders of marketing, sales, and technology)
  • Business partners (to make sure the product and the business are aligned)
  • Finance (to make sure the product fits within the financial parameters and model of the company)
  • Legal (to make sure that what you propose is defensible)
  • Compliance (to make sure what you propose complies with any relevant standards or policies)
  • Business development (to make ...

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