Updating stakeholders monthly on the product progress

  • 28 September 2022
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 3

Hi all,

I am in the middle of preparing a new monthly report format for the executive team that would briefly update them on the roadmap progress/development org. The goal of the report is to provide them with high-level information (sync) that are relevant for other departments (sales, marketing, customer success) without going unnecessary deep, but detailed enough to trigger action in their departments if needed. It is going to be a complementing update to a quarterly roadmap/direction/objectives update.

My requirements are:

  • 5 slides or less (<15 min of time to go through)
  • 2 hour or less to prepare
  • understandable for all roles

Does anyone have any experience with similar report? What did (not) work for you in the past? What information did you include, what information was unnecessary?

Thanks a lot.

4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

I wonder if some folks like @Samkay @ashivory @stephenwalker or @yet another martin might have some suggestions to share.

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

The first question you have to ask yourself:

Is your goal to prove your value or contribute to strategic progress in the org?

Someone probably has a good reason to adopt the former, but what I’m describing here is purely focused on getting the most strategic leverage out of the org as possible.

Here’s the basic outline.

  1. Make a list of the names to influence in your primary audience. This exercise seemed sort of silly to me at first (I know who’s there), but I found that it forced me to think about the individuals who would internalize and take action on the information rather than a collective “leadership team” who would zone out and check their phones.
  2. What do I need each person to take action on within the next four to six weeks. Basically I cross-reference my recent and upcoming changes and findings with the people in the room and consider how and when they are critical to success.
  3. Summarize each critical action item to address the target individual(s). That might be text, data vis, a screen shot, a link out to a quick prototype demonstration, or any combination of those.

As you pointed out, you need to keep that to 15 mins or less. It’s all about curating the information.

The big problem with that outline: It’s not a template that works every month. But crafting that information is kind of an important part of my job, so the investment is worth it to me.

Userlevel 5
Badge +2

I’ve always found with these types of scenarios that any timeline, any item, any detail you choose to run through has to be accurate, if one date is off they will then assume it is all wrong. Just make sure you are confident in answering the detail even if it isn’t shown :)

Story telling is always better here, rather than just a big laundry list.

Put yourself in their shoes, what do they want to know, and why? How can you present it in a way that is memorable, a missed opportunity with this type of thing is the buy in :)

Why not use productboard and not the slides :) design a view in your roadmap list that they can all look at and then you can see how often they check in too

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

It’s a bit different on my end as I am part of the exec team. So that type of report we do to the board on quarterly basis and in our monthly townhall. Usually each team has 3 slides. Recap on quarterly objectives and value to org, biggest progress/win for that month or quarter, areas we are not winning and need help in. Everything is related to overall objectives and not necessarily reported on a project or product feature level unless it is major or associated with high profile customer / partnership with banks we work with. 

most important in all of the above is tying it to WIIFM (what’s in it for me). Why should the audience care, why are we doing this and how this helps them and / or the company. Hope this helps.