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Communicating effectively with Stakeholders using stories

communicating with stakeholders

As a product owner or product manager, you have been watching the progress of your team towards your roadmap or release plan. As you collect this data about the progress of your product, you know you need to communicate both good news and some not so good news to your stakeholders and executive management. Many new product managers and product owners struggle with the messaging of their communication. How to structure the news? How much to say? How to say enough to elicit the feedback or help they need? 

I have communicated roadmaps, progress, facilitated stakeholder interactions for prioritization and always found myself looking for ways to communicate. Each interaction taught me how to refine my message. One of the many formats I have tried that I like is the “Telling Stories”. The original idea comes from a PMI Institute Blog 

The Scenario

For a very large software product that had stringent dates due to external regulatory requirements, we had a large team of 80 members and we were using LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) The team would deliver product increments every two weeks. Executive Management and Stakeholder were invited and attended a sprint review every two weeks. Given the high profile nature of the deliver of the product, they were all over it. They needed a story. They needed to know progress, they needed transparency

What helped?

Based on the Blog, I have a standard canvas that I use. 

communicating with stakeholders

For Release 10, The good news was that the team had completed 98% of the work. The legal team was reviewing new regulations and they found about 59 estimation points of work that was added to meet our commitment to the external regulators. The story was good and the team needed more time to complete the additions as well as fix the high priority defects

How I crafted the story

Additional material that I added to my story

What do you think of the story format to convey information. What could we add to this article to help you with using it? Please share your comments.

Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps: Simplifying the jargon

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