Reach out to stakeholders to uncover the varied business needs and motivations involving your product.

👥 10 and more person | ⏰ days | 💪🏼 medium effort


Interviewing project stakeholders is an invaluable resource for uncovering the goals, needs, and frustrations of those external to the core team but who have a vested interest in the outcome of the product discovery process.

Perform these interviews to both understand the breadth of requirements and activities behind the efforts to improve your product, as well as assess the current organizational knowledge of user needs and problems. This overview should result in materials describing, at a high-level, the user, business, and organizational problems currently experienced by stakeholders, as well as their plans or hopes for improving the team’s product.

Who is involved?

Stakeholder interviews require a product team capable of identifying and recruiting stakeholders internally, moderating and note-taking during the interview, and combing through the responses to understand the wider range of business needs and goals involving your product.

How is it done?

  1. Create an interview guide listing the general or department-specific questions you’d like to pose to individual stakeholders.
  2. Recruit based on willingness to chat with the product team, and be sure to schedule as much in advance as possible, given that your stakeholders are most likely very busy.
  3. During the one-on-one interviews, spend some time at the beginning briefly introducing the purpose of the interviews and what sorts of questions you’ll be asking; they should last 30 minutes to an hour. The team moderator should feel free to deviate from the guide whenever an interesting topic has been broached.
  4. Sit down as a team and uncover key insights, powerful quotes, and stakeholder needs from your notes; these will inform how your team understands the product within the larger organizational goals.

Question examples

  • What is your role in this project?
  • What is the one thing we must get right to make this project worth undertaking?
  • How will you, personally, define success for this project?
  • What is the role of this project in achieving that success?
  • What are the goals you need to achieve from this project?
  • What have you tried that has/hasn’t worked?
  • What went wrong in that case?
  • Who are the biggest competitors and what worries you about them?
  • How do you expect to differentiate this product?
  • Where do you want the product to be in the next year, 5 years?
  • What keeps you up at night with regards to your users?
  • What assumptions do you think you are making about your users?
  • What do you know for sure about your users?
  • What are the most common problems your users face?
  • What worries you about this project?