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The Benefits of Stakeholder Communication

Meetings
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Ownership
Stakeholders

17 November, 2021

Piyush Dubey
Piyush Dubey

Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft

Piyush Dubey, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, shares how to understand the stakeholder communication process better and why it is essential.

Can a Lack of Collaboration Break a Project?

How important is it to understand stakeholders?

The answer to the simple question is, very. If you know and understand your stakeholders well enough, you’re already in a better position. One of the projects I worked at was core to other teams, but they heavily depended on us (the engineering team). Understanding different timelines and creating more transparent communication channels with various teams to keep them updated about the project is all a part of it.

Striking the Balance

Creating Different Communication Channels:

To begin with, my first step was to create different email channels and teams channels. On top of that, I posted milestones on a document. It helped me keep other groups and their members on what we were working on or the reached milestones. Typically, stakeholders are only concerned with what’s happening inside and when they might be getting a deliverable.

However, creating a clear communication channel, demonstrating the tasks we have completed, and coming up with the next set of functions added value. Literally, it helped all the stakeholders to understand how quickly or slowly the deliverable is moving forward. In tune, it helped them adjust their timelines accordingly.

The Ability to Design Decisions:

I set up designed discussions with the stakeholders, understood their needs, and then put them all together into a single document. For example, at one of the larger corps I worked at, there used to be a one-pager before every meeting that was shared with everyone. At the beginning of every meeting, for about 15 minutes, everyone would sit quietly, read the document and then discuss it.

It was not just walking into a meeting or knowing what’s happening and what’s not, but about getting the entire context to communicate with each other effectively. Therefore, that was one of the best forms of stakeholder communications I had come across, and I have been practicing that with my existing team.

Walking The Fine Line Between Individual Work And Teamwork

  • It’s good to have deadlines, but committing to something strictly might not be wise. Things keep changing and being flexible and room for possible changes is the way to go. Keep the space for positive and negative buffers.
  • Having ownership and giving some ownership to different stakeholders is the key. There will always be someone who is a subject matter expert in some regard. Considering that organizations are very dynamic, they create opportunities for people to grow.

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