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Understand your users and stakeholders

Many different actors may be impacted by or have an interest in the outcome of your work.  Being clear about who you are focused on helping will inform your solution and strategy.  Understanding who you are solving a problem for is also important for creating a user-centric mindset with your team, building empathy and motivation for your work.  Just as important, understanding who may be champions or skeptics of your work, and what their interests are, will allow you to navigate organization dynamics and build consensus. 

Below are some outcomes 18F product managers drive when understanding the audience:

  • Know and define what audiences are affected or impacted by the current process, service or product

  • Define they key users of the current process, those most affected

  • Within the partner’s organization, define who has an interest in this work (key stakeholders) and who can influence or impact the current process

  • Define the peripheral actors in the current process

  • Describe the roles and goals/objectives of the ‘key’ actors