How To Get Stakeholder Buy In

GoRetro Team
April 16, 2023
Posted on
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Collaboration is the cornerstone of all the Agile frameworks, especially Scrum. The support and involvement from everyone on the team will drive your team to achieve its goals and objectives. 

That being said, getting stakeholder buy in can often be a tricky task. In this post, we will share valuable tips on how to get buy in from stakeholders, ensuring smooth collaboration and successful project delivery.

Why Is Stakeholder Buy In Important?

Stakeholder buy-in is critical for successful project delivery in Agile. Involving stakeholders in the processes of the can lead to better outcomes and increased stakeholder satisfaction. 

Here are some specific ways that obtaining stakeholder buy-in can benefit the development process:

1) Support for Project Success: Stakeholders are key players in the success of a project. Project sponsors, clients, end-users, and other relevant parties provide the necessary support, resources, and guidance to ensure that the project meets its goals and objectives. When stakeholders have buy-in, they are actively involved in the project, providing feedback, making decisions, and advocating for the project's success. Their support creates a collaborative environment where the project team can work effectively, resulting in a higher likelihood of project success.

2) Timely Decision-Making: Stakeholders are responsible for making important decisions throughout the project lifecycle. When stakeholders have buy-in, they are more likely to be engaged and responsive in making timely decisions. This avoids delays and bottlenecks in the decision-making process, allowing the project to progress smoothly. Timely decisions are crucial in Agile and Scrum methodologies, where quick feedback loops and iterative decision-making are essential for delivering value to customers and responding to changing requirements.

3) Resource Allocation: Stakeholders control the allocation of resources, including budget, personnel, and other assets required for project execution. When stakeholders have buy-in, they are more likely to allocate the necessary resources to the project in a timely manner. This ensures that the project team has the right resources at the right time, enabling them to deliver the project successfully. Without stakeholder buy-in, resource allocation may be delayed or inadequate, leading to project delays or compromises in quality.

4) Risk Mitigation: Stakeholders can contribute significantly to identifying and mitigating risks throughout the project. When stakeholders have buy-in, they are more likely to actively participate in risk identification and mitigation efforts. They can provide valuable insights, feedback, and support in identifying potential risks, assessing their impact, and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them. This proactive approach to risk management helps in minimizing the impact of risks on the project and ensures its smooth progress.

5) Increased Stakeholder Satisfaction: Stakeholders who feel heard, respected, and involved in the project are more likely to be satisfied with the project outcome. When stakeholders have buy-in, they feel invested in the project's success and are more likely to be satisfied with the project's results. This increased stakeholder satisfaction can lead to long-term positive relationships, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth, benefiting the organization's reputation and future projects.

How to Get Stakeholder Buy In

Understand Your Stakeholders

In order to gain buy-in from stakeholders, it is crucial to first understand who they are and what their needs and expectations are. Identifying and analyzing your stakeholders is an essential step in Agile and Scrum methodologies. Start by creating a stakeholder map, which includes all the relevant stakeholders and their roles in the project. This will help you prioritize stakeholders based on their level of influence and interest in the project.

Once you have a clear understanding of your stakeholders, engage in effective communication with them. Be proactive in reaching out to them, schedule regular meetings, and listen to their concerns and feedback. By actively involving stakeholders and keeping them informed throughout the project, you can build trust and gain their buy-in.

Demonstrate Value

Stakeholders are interested in the value that a project can deliver to them. As a Scrum Master or a member of a Scrum Team, it is essential to clearly communicate the value of the project to stakeholders. Highlight the benefits and outcomes that the project can achieve, and how it aligns with their goals and objectives.

One effective way to demonstrate value is by using visual aids such as prototypes, wireframes, or demos to showcase the project's progress and potential. Visuals can make complex concepts more accessible and engaging to stakeholders, helping them to better understand the value of the project and increase their buy-in.

Foster Collaboration

Collaboration is a key principle of Agile and Scrum methodologies, and it is equally important when it comes to stakeholder buy-in. Building a collaborative environment where stakeholders feel included and valued can greatly contribute to their support.

There should be encouragement for the stakeholders to collaborate, and get involved  in the scrum ceremonies such as sprint reviews, sprint retrospectives, and daily stand-up. Create opportunities for stakeholders to provide input and feedback, and be open to incorporating their ideas and suggestions. Collaborating with stakeholders not only helps in gaining their buy-in but also enables them to take ownership of the project and feel invested in its success. Remember, involving stakeholders in the development process is not a one-time event but a continuous effort. It requires effective communication, active engagement, and a willingness to listen to their perspectives.

Need some help ideating some ways to collaborate with your stakeholders?

Here are some creative ways that a software development team can involve stakeholders in the development process:

1) Regular Stakeholder Demos: Organize regular demos or showcases where stakeholders can see the progress of the software being developed. This can be done through live demos or recorded videos, showcasing the latest features or updates. It allows stakeholders to provide feedback, ask questions, and get hands-on experience of the software, ensuring their input is considered in the development process.

2) Collaborative Workshops: Conduct collaborative workshops with stakeholders to gather their insights, ideas, and requirements. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, design thinking workshops, or other collaborative activities. It encourages stakeholders to actively participate and contribute their perspectives, fostering collaboration and creativity in the development process.

3) User Testing Sessions: Invite stakeholders, including end-users or clients, to participate in user testing sessions. This involves having stakeholders test the software and provide feedback on its usability, functionality, and overall user experience. Their feedback can help identify any issues, validate assumptions, and make improvements to the software, ensuring it aligns with their needs and expectations.

4) Feedback Channels: Set up dedicated feedback channels for stakeholders to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the software. This can include online feedback forms, email addresses, or dedicated communication tools. Encourage stakeholders to provide feedback regularly and acknowledge their contributions. It shows that their input is valued and fosters a culture of continuous improvement in the development process.

5) Co-Creation Workshops: Organize co-creation workshops where stakeholders and the development team work together to generate ideas, prototype solutions, and make decisions collectively. This collaborative approach encourages stakeholders to take ownership of the software development process and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among all parties involved.


In conclusion, getting buy-in from stakeholders is crucial for successful project delivery in Agile and Scrum methodologies. Understanding your stakeholders, demonstrating value, and fostering collaboration are key strategies to gain their support. By building strong relationships with stakeholders and keeping them engaged throughout the project, you can achieve stakeholder buy-in and ensure a smooth and successful project outcome. 

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