How to Win Stakeholders as Helpful Partners in Digital Transformation

 “Some are true collaborative geniuses. These maestros win over stakeholders to buy into visions and customer value propositions without getting sucked into appeasing everyone’s wish lists.”

Digital Trailblazer Winning over Digital Transformation Stakeholder

I tell this story at the beginning of Chapter 4 of Digital Trailblazer, a chapter I titled “Product Management and Architecture: Trials and Triumphs.”

Several years ago, I introduced my vision statement template in a post, five ways vision statements drive achievable digital transformations. I released an improved version 2 of the vision statement template last year, and you can download it here.

To help you apply the vision statement, I just released a Driving Digital Standup video, How to Partner with Digital Transformation Stakeholders by Defining Your Product Vision Statements. You can also find it at the end of this post.

Collaborate on vision statements

As you’ll hear in the video, the key to winning over stakeholders is brainstorming the vision statement together with the team planning and implementing a transformation initiative.

Why? Because vision statements help align around who the customer is, what are their value propositions, which constraints the team must consider in implementations, and why the initiative has strategic importance.

Most importantly, you’re redefining the stakeholder role – something executives and business leaders must understand, especially when running transformation initiatives as agile products. Stakeholders don’t dictate requirements and priorities. They recommend these to product managers, who must validate them with customers, formulate a strategy, and collaborate on an agile roadmap.

Vision statements are just the start, and I share some of the next steps in the documentation accompanying my vision statement template.

Other changes include shifting to agile continuous planning and redefining change management to transformation management. I hope you read these posts and reach out to me with your questions.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.