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October 1, 2018
139: Working with stakeholders

Gaining stakeholder trust can greatly influence the success of your project, but where is the best place to start? In this week’s episode we share our tips and experience to make the process of gaining stakeholder trust as straightforward as possible.

key takeaways

Gaining stakeholder trust is super important because ultimately they are the people who sign off on your design. You may have more than one stakeholder but at the end of the day, you need to know who has the final say when it comes to signing off on the project. Find out upfront so that a bottle neck of last minute changes doesn’t delay the completion of the project.

There are many different types of stakeholders. If you have a design manager they are a stakeholder for all of your work in a way. If your team includes a product manager, the same can be said of them.

In a marketing design role, the marketing team is a stakeholder. Your marketing director will also be a stakeholder. You may find that as business strategies change new teams will become a part of your project. It is important to be open to working with new teams, bringing them up to speed on the touch points of the project will help them to understand where the two team’s work crosses over.

Treat your stakeholders as you would treat your users. Learn as much as you can about the project from them. Spend as much time as you can with stakeholders at the beginning of the project. Clarify the problem that you are trying to solve so that you can begin the work with as much knowledge about the project as possible. Take the time to understand the problem, this will help your stakeholder to trust you as it shows you take your work seriously.

Different stakeholders bring with them different levels of experience. Think about how your stakeholder might receive your initial design if they don’t have any design experience and aren’t sure which elements are outstanding. At every stage you want to develop the trust your stakeholder has in your ability to get the job done.

Become a stakeholder for your project. Keep the user and their experience to the fore of your mind. Question the feedback you receive if it doesn’t serve the user. Always get the feedback from the person who has given it. Secondhand information won’t give you the chance to ask questions and understand the perspective of the person who has given the feedback.

show timestamps

08.00 – Who are the stakeholders?

16.00 – Communicating with stakeholders

23.10 – When and what to share with your stakeholders

25.40 – A question from our community

27.25 – Become a stakeholder for your design

32.00 – Too many cooks in the kitchen

33.21 – A skill every designer needs

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