Different Stakeholders, Different Rhetorical
Higher management staff – CEOs, CFOs – CIOs – Business Development – are normally more interested in how products and services reduce cost, generate new revenues, strengthen the trademark and brand, improve customer relations, create new market positions, and acquire competitive advantage. They regard their respective departments as unique and special, so out of the box solutions would probably not be welcome.
Higher management individuals work at a strategic level and their decisions are seldom short-term. It’s therefore important to show them clearly how the solution will support the business. Why should they invest in this? Their perceptions are influenced by those they serve and the costs of providing this service.
Middle management staff – product or system owners, line managers, administrative managers, software development managers and business development managers, ), focus on what their respective business unit does. They are often focus on a specific project or responsibility making sure that the proper “housekeeping” is done so everyone else can work efficient.
They work at a tactical level and prioritize different activities. Their main preoccupation is how to make things more efficient. They do comparisons and benchmarking. Their perceived customer quality is based on the ratio between prices in relation to the perceived value. They are responsible for their assessments of new systems and features.
It is therefore essential to demonstrate to them why the solution or feature they require is produced with cost efficiency in mind and which would be the best solution for them. The keyword for middle management is what. What does the solution, system or service do in particular that it cannot be obtained at a cheaper price elsewhere?
The competitive factor is not price, but the perceived value that can be obtained. They like to know that what they like to achieve is clearly understood. Documenting their requirements is one way to prove that their needs are understood.
Team and Operations Management
Management at the operations level is often very close to execution with good insights about the process. They know how work is performed. They are more interested in how things are done and how they should work with a specific solution. Business value is easier to measure in terms of work and costs. The interest is on the details of the solution. At the operations level, the right competence for the right task is what matters most.