It’s hard to work with stakeholders sometimes, especially those at the Executive-level. In my experience, Executive-level stakeholders:
- Expect to be asked the right questions at the right time
- Are difficult to get hold of
- May not volunteer information unless asked
- May have unrealistic expectations
- Miss a lot of project meetings
- Do not want to know details
In addition, everyone wants to please them which makes it difficult to present them the facts as they are.
These 5 tips may help:
- One-on-One Meetings: Set up regular one-on-one meetings with them.
- Preparation: Come prepared to the meetings with project highlights, crucial questions you need their expertise on and any risks along with a risk management plan (don’t just bring problems but also potential solutions).
- Requirements: If they care a lot about a certain feature, make sure you do thorough requirements gathering and review those requirements with them as well as any risk to delivering what they expect.
- Show: Show them a demo, screen shots, or any visual as soon as available to get their thoughts. Pictures speak louder than words.
- Communication: Find out how they would like to be kept updated outside of the one-on-one meetings. Check with them once in a while that they are happy with the way you are communicating to them.