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In a recent The Product Perspective podcast, Userback CEO Jon Tobin spoke with product development specialist Casey Brown about overcoming the challenges of gaining organizational buy-in, aligning project objectives with stakeholder expectations and reducing stress in high pressure situations.

This video is an extract from the full interview during which Casey highlights some of the obstacles to organizational buy-in during product development and how to best overcome them.

Casey Brown - Product Development Specialist

Key takeouts

Hybrid delivery approaches can create friction during product development

Many organizations are running hybrid delivery approaches to product development. Part-Waterfall and part-Agile (or ‘WAgile’), they try to embrace the flexibility of Agile while still having the predictability of Waterfall. However, when yu have waterfall funding and budgeting for product development but stakeholders expect agile execution, it can create friction.

How to get organizational buy-in:

The more open the product development approach, the more data is required to inform and support product decisions with any kind of certainty. Ensure that stakeholders’ expectations are set so that they can be met and choose the best delivery approach for your project. Where a hybrid approach is taken be sure to highlight potential friction points and the potential impact on meeting expectations.

Differing agendas during product development

Different teams, and even members within each team, may not all have the same objective. For example, at the customer coal face, sales team may need things to head one way, while technology teams want to take things in other direction from an engineering perspective.

How to get organizational buy-in:

Where someone may think they are losing out be sure to have a conversation early on where you acknowledge what they may not get, but emphasize what they have to gain.

Fear of change:

Often stakeholders do not want to change the way that things have always been done. Recent security breaches have highlighted that “the way we’ve always done things” can now actually increase risk profile and vulnerabilities.

How to get organizational buy-in:

Present the data that highlights the need for product development and compare the more predictable cost of action against the unknown and potentially damaging cost of inaction (to service experience, finance and reputation).

How Userback can help you get organizational buy-in during product development

Userback is a market-leading user feedback platform helping 20,000+ software teams to understand what users need so they can streamline product development and build better web applications, faster.

  • Get instant insights that allow you to accelerate the delivery of fixes and features that users really need, regardless of whatever approach you may be following… Waterfall, Agile or the hybrid WAgile.
  • Get the data and input you need from users to make better-informed product roadmap decisions, prioritize what needs to be done next and validate your decisions with all stakeholders.
  • Removes ambiguity and brings the end user closer to the product manager and the developers, even during complex product development and multi-tiered team structures.

Listen to “Learning from Scars: Why Mistakes are Valuable Lessons for product development”

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