Difficulty in keeping the stakeholders aligned

My biggest obstacle is keeping all the stakeholders on the same page or aligned and content with our roadmap, which is incredibly difficult. How about you? What is your biggest challenge as a PM? And what did you already do to overcome this challenge?

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I currently am the PO for a team that demands that requirements be completely predetermined 100% in advance and never change. I’m basically agile, whereas they’re waterfall.

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@NatashaMartin, Ask them why they think they need all the requirements up front; don’t be hesitant to challenge them. According to my experience, developers either a) are accustomed to working in that manner, b) have been burned by repeated, seemingly random, changes and rework to the same feature, c) aren’t creative enough, or d) don’t care enough about the product to be engaged with its needs beyond what you tell them (very unlikely).

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I can relate. I was a part of such a group. I kept asking myself, “Do you just want to be a code monkey?” All I could think was that the exciting part of being a developer is figuring out that what and the how.

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Been there. It can be frustrating. What types of requirements are they sticklers about?

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@DaveKim, As a recent example, after creating a form, we discovered that several fields were missing, therefore I established a new story to resolve the missing fields in the upcoming sprint.

This is iterative development in my opinion. We created a functional form. We now know that there are a few more fields to add.

The developer was furious because he claimed it was a rework. When I questioned him about if he needed to make any additional changes to the form other adding new fields, he replied that he did not. I’m not sure what the issue is, then. We created a form that is functional, and as we gained more insight into the form, we are now adding more fields.

In a different instance, when we were talking about the acceptance criteria, we were aware of a section that was still unclear. This section affected perhaps 0.01% of users and was an edge case within an edge case. I then clarified the story and promised to follow it up with another one after I had a chance to discuss it with stakeholders and SMEs to obtain a response. We can’t start working on it, the developer said, until we’ve met all the requirements.

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Yeah, you’re definitely in the right here. That’s really frustrating.

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Ask them to prioritise which parts of the tool/software are the most critical to not change, and why. You can work together to ensure those parts are solid.

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Finding the time necessary to concentrate on long-term strategic efforts with the proper stakeholders when the daily needs seem more pressing and burdensome.

Having a shared understanding of what the most important task is can, in my opinion, be one of the finest approaches to address this. I’m fairly new to my company, and I don’t really know how to implement change at the top. I think that this kind of solution requires top-down leadership. My current approach is to concentrate on completing the work that the leadership needs completed as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

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^^ This for me as well.

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I’m also having trouble with this. I was able to test out a lot of different things and experiment frequently because I was working on optimization and analytics at my previous employment. Due to my efforts, I was placing things on the roadmap. But now that I’m a PM, I primarily think about this sprint or the one after it. I’m not allowed the freedom to strategize or try new things, and I’m starting to miss that about my previous position. Actually, I’ve thought about returning to that kind of position.

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Essentially, we are project managers and marketers. Almost anything can be built by R&D and engineering. Sales visits engineers and speaks with them directly. Whoever yells the loudest will have their wish granted. What is constructed is then given to us for running a marketing campaign.