Establishing a Product Vision

Is anyone at your organization able to communicate the vision for your product?

Having a vision for a product is very important.  When there isn’t a vision, I have found that it is easy to get stuck in the day to day short term thinking of small features and user stories that don’t roll up to the simple why. I also lose track of the end result causing a number of adverse effects.

In Roman Pichler’s book, Strategize, he states,

An effective vision has four qualities: it is big, shared, inspiring, and concise.

Let’s look at an example. I like to play guitar and one of my favorite genres is blues. I decide I want to teach blues guitar and create a product to support this goal. My vision in this case could be “helping people learn to play blues guitar.” This is a big vision that brings people together that want to learn blues guitar and is therefore shared among a group of people with a common goal. It is inspiring for those that will be working on the product(s) as it is about helping others learn something new. Last, it is concise by getting straight to the point.

By following these four qualities, your product strategy is able to be dynamic. This allows for agility in your product sprints, road map, etc. without changing the vision. For example, if I start off creating a website for helping someone learn to play blues guitar, and release my product quickly through small iterations to the customers; I may get feedback and data that becomes a stronger ask for a mobile app over the website. I’m able to pivot quickly and go to a mobile app while keeping the same vision. Therefore, I’m not spending months on something that has less of a demand (website vs. mobile app) and I don’t have to recreate the why.

What has been your experience with establishing a product vision?

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