Deena Chadwick
The CommonSensical BA

Stakeholders Are People Too!

The Game

Product and project success depend upon your teams ability to communicate and collaborate with your stakeholders

Applying the CommonSensical Approach To Stakeholder Engagement

Get The Job Done

Stay Out of Your Own Way

Know The Basics

Do you know why it is important to manage your stakeholders?

Did you know that the word stakeholder is mentioned 1202 times in the PMBoK Sixth Edition and 1208 times in the BABoK v3? It is mentioned this many times because building and maintaining a good relationship with stakeholders is an essential parts of any Project Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner, or Business Analyst’s job. When I was researching stakeholders, I learned that the word stakeholder could be traced back to the first time it was written in print in 1708.

Back then there were few entertainments. No electronic games, no television, and no means to communicate other than face to face and hand written letters. Gambling was one of the common past times among the aristocrats. It was also like a FICO score. The amount you were willing to risk was an indication of wealth, status, rank, and class. Dice and cards were very popular, but for those brave or foolish, there were feats of daring. When playing cards or dice, you controlled your own stakes, but in these feats of daring, someone else held the stakes of bettors. They also had the responsibility of delivering the pot to the winner of the bet. So stake-holder became the term used to describe them. For the full history read the book or take the course.

When it comes to Stakeholder Management knowing the basics done includes: Knowing the History, Studying the Core Curriculum, and Knowing the Answer to the 5W FAQs (Who, What, When, Where, and Why).

Do you struggle to find the right balance of stakeholder engagement?

Key stakeholders can make or break the success of a project. Even if all the deliverables are met, and the objectives are satisfied, if your key stakeholders aren’t happy, nobody’s happy. I have heard this statement in many different forms, and each time, I shake my head. It is so easy to say keep your stakeholders happy, but the simple truth is you cannot make everyone happy. You cannot even make one person happy all of the time.

At the end of the day, stakeholders are people––people who you did not choose. You did not get to pick their personality, communication style, or attitude. You have to deal with what you get. There is never only one stakeholder. Each has their own different personality, likes and dislikes, communication style, and etc. It is your job to build a good working relationship with each one. It is highly unlikely a single reporting style or process will fit all of their expectations. Stakeholder management does not have to be difficult, but it is work.

When it comes to Stakeholder Management getting the job done includes: What Is and Is Not Expected Of You, Who Can and Cannot Help You Get It Done, What Will and Will Not Get In Your Way

Are you stopping you from being successful?

Your habits, behaviors, felling, and fear can stop you from being successful. You need to change these things so your work and life will be come better. I have worked with some amazing Business Analysts, Project Managers, Scrum Master, & Product Owners, but many of them lack confidence. 

It’s called imposter syndrome. A little bit of self-doubt going into a meeting is fine, but continuously second-guessing yourself, negative self-talk, or dwelling on past mistakes is dangerous.

When we summon the courage to take a risk or make a change, we often encounter fear and a little inner bully trying to convince us that we are not good enough. “You won’t be good at it. Don’t try it. You’ll fail anyway. It’s not worth the humiliation. You just are not ready. It won’t be good enough. Everyone will laugh at you.”


That is your inner critic talking. It is not necessarily a bad thing, that same little critic reminds us that fire burns and to put on our seat belts. The problem is that our inner critic has to be overcome if we are to take chances and succeed. There are a few great techniques that will help you keep your inner critic out of our way. Being Confident, Knowing the Common Mistakes and How To Avoid Them, and Knowing Your Role.