Make the Stakeholder Shift


In this lesson, we'll review the Voice of the Customer, learn how to capture our stakeholder feedback and truly understand our stakeholders. It's time to Make the Shift – shift our stakeholders support in our direction

Voice of the Customer (VOC)

When we are customer-centric, we're constantly seeking the Voice of the Customer (VOC). We must listen to the customer's needs and wants so we ensure we’re proving an excellent product or service.

> What do our customers truly want & need? What are their preferences?

> What are our customers expectations? Are we meeting them?

>What are our customers frustrations and concerns? How do we address them?

If we don't know, we're going to start asking.

Stakeholder Conversations

A stakeholder conversation is a one-on-one or small group meeting to understand the stakeholder's perspective or VOC.


  • Demonstrate transparency and respect for people
  • Communicate the "Why"
  • Build relationships through listening
  • Listen and gather information to capture the stakeholders perspective, you are NOT selling anything
  • Document and acknowledge any concerns, but do not dispense solutions
  • Determine or validate Stakeholder Type

Now that you have identified all of your stakeholders, download and use the Stakeholder Conversation Guide to facilitate meetings or feedback sessions.

Depending on scope and scale of project, stakeholder conversations may be held as individual meetings or in group meetings.

If you are already capturing customer feedback through surveys or focus groups, review the survey data. You should consider focus groups to capture additional feedback or gain specific insights into feedback from the surveys.

After you've had your conversations and gathered feedback, go back to your Stakeholder Engagement Plan and adjust the Stakeholder Type if needed.

Review and update the Stakeholder Type in the Stakeholder Engagement Template.

Make the Shift

Now that you have collected feedback, do you need to Make the Shift? 

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft

Meet with your team and determine if you need to build more engagement and interest with your stakeholders. This is when you start to make the stakeholder shift – shifting their perspectives on the project to create the support you need to be successful. Based on stakeholder feedback, discuss with your team how you can best address their concerns or mitigate risks they have.

If you have Troublemakers and Disrupters, discuss with your team how you can address their concerns. You need to shift these Troublemakers and Disrupters to at least a neutral position of Observer or Influencer so they do not derail your project. But ideally, you are truly listening and addressing their problems.

If you have a highly supportive person or group, can you convert them into change agents or cheerleaders to promote the change? Can you leverage them to build more excitement or support?

If you have challenges, this is a good time to talk to your sponsor and ask for help!

Update the Stakeholder Engagement Template with your plan to Make the Shift.

Lessons in this Course:

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