Why do Stakeholders always come up with Feature Requests? Because they’re like users – They don’t know what they want.
Influencing the roadmap solely with specific feature requests is their way to remain involved in product development continuously.
Why do they want to stay involved? Because they’re not convinced that the end results will match their expectations. You haven’t earned their trust (yet) and they may also have a hard time giving up micro-level control over ‘their’ product.
It’s your responsibility as a Product Manager to reverse engineer their feature requests using alignment tools to get to the bottom to what they want.
Only then you can come up with better solutions than they can imagine.
So, the next time you’re frustrated with the way stakeholders articulate their need, remind yourself to treat them like your users.
Develop empathy for them, get to the bottom of their actual problems and deploy ideation and creative techniques against those problems to come up with better products.
I know, in an ideal world, we’d all be on the same page already. But on the bright side, you can count on an educational effect on your stakeholder’s minds as a byproduct of problem-centered product development.
But be certain that this is your responsibility. The worst you could do would to just built those specific feature requests.