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Typical stakeholder meetings are a waste of time
This is what they typically look:
1. Stakeholders asking for stuff, generally late because “sprint has started”.
2. PMs saying “let me add to the backlog” or “let’s discuss for the next roadmap” but in reality they will forget.
3. Stakeholders asking for an update on “the thing I asked the last meeting”, instead of focusing in the future.
4. PMs answering “still in the backlog, didn’t have the resources to prioritize” but in reality didn’t remember bumping up in the last planning.
It might not happen all the time, but happens way too frequently. And when it does, you end up using more than 50% of a meeting’s time in this zero-progress dance.
So how do you get how of “stakeholder unproductive hell”?
1. Invite “product requests” through async channels (eg: slack). You will get stuff earlier and you can act sooner. Also, writing makes people think through.
2. Educate on how to “ask” for things. Get them to share data, feedback, link to OKRs (or their own KPIs), what would they “sacrifice” from past requests (prioritization)
3. Turn your stakeholder meetings into “strategy talk”. Focus on discussing what is keeping them from achieving their objectives, blocking them from doing 2x more in 1/2 the time. If they “ask for things” redirect them to slack.
Try it out next time. You will get better conversations, deeper context and more diverse views. Win-win.