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12 - January - 2022

Stakeholder Training for Scrum Teams

I was working with a client with 5 cross-functional scrum and kanban teams (CFTs). Things were going pretty well. The organization as a whole was maturing. Executives have bought into Agile and are invested in its success.

But over time, it became clear that there was one group of very important people who were feeling left out; the stakeholders.

Now, we’re not talking about the end-users, here. The company has a number of stakeholders, including end-user customers. But stakeholders for any CFT might include members of other CFTs, customer service advocates for the end-users, the marketplace manager representing content creators, and so on. Individually, these stakeholders were rushing around to different CFTs to ask specific questions… and not getting very solid answers.

If you’re an experienced agilist, you know the answer to this is “sprint/product reviews!” And you would be right! But when the stakeholders went to reviews, they were presented as a demo with some technical deep diving, and stakeholders didn’t know how to make their voices heard.

Enter the Stakeholder Training module! I contacted the stakeholders, the product leadership, and the product owners for all of the CFTs to find out what the pain points were. It became clear that stakeholders felt left out because of the overly technical discussion that came up, and product owners felt the stakeholders were asking for changes way too late in the development process.

Working with that information, I developed a short Stakeholder Training module for internal stakeholders to provide constructive feedback to an Agile team while also managing their expectations for how fast their suggestions can be implemented.

The learning objectives of this 90-minute training module were:

  • Describe the role of a stakeholder in sprint reviews, including understanding the DACI model
  • Demonstrate best-practices stakeholder participation in reviews
  • Explain how sprint reviews and stakeholder metrics connect to each other.
  • Perform at least two prioritization methods used in agile teams (such as dot voting, MoSCoW, or monopoly money).

Using interactive accelerated learning training techniques, stakeholders at the company learned their role relating to the many projects being developed, and how to behave in sprint reviews to get the most out of them for their own needs.

Do your stakeholders struggle to connect with teams and the review cycle? Contact us to have this Stakeholder Training delivered to your team, virtually!

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