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Fry Away the Fat! Trimming your Stakeholders – Skeptical Agile

link to original storyFeb 14, 2017
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Chances are there are many people calling themselves stakeholders. You have seen many of them in your hierarchical structure. Shaping the future of products, questioning the decisions made by product development teams and demanding various artifacts such as product roadmaps and release plans.

You may now be asking: do I have this problem? Here are a few questions to help you determine that:

  • Does each your products have more that 2 key stakeholders?
  • Do almost all of your stakeholders come from the hierarchical structure above the teams?
  • Are many of your stakeholders from IT department?
  • Are most of the stakeholders lacking basic decision-making powers such as having a budget, being able to prioritize or being users of the product?

If you answer YES to any of these, you are in trouble: a parasitic infestation grows inside your organization. You have many fake, unaccountable, whining babies, attention seekers, meeting planners and micro-managers pretending to be stakeholders.

Exterminate. Exterminate. Exterminate.

Getting rid of pseudo-stakeholders is theoretically simple. Practically, it requires you only follow a couple of simple steps for each product you have:

1. Examine how many stakeholders you have. Distinguish between the ones having money or being users and the parasitizing ones. Note you may have to create a stakeholder map to get to the real ones, as they may be hidden by layers of parasitic proxies.

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