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Posted By - Emma Burt
When it comes to product development, having a clear and concise product vision is essential. A product vision is a high-level statement that outlines the ultimate goal of a product or service. It provides a framework for the product development process, guiding decision making and priorities. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a product vision is, what makes a good product vision, and how to create one.
As a mum to two young children, I get asked “why?” a lot. Whilst sometimes the simple question can be very challenging – particularly while trying to muster an answer on little sleep – oftentimes it can be a good reminder to the value of what we are doing. Having to think about the reason why we do some of the everyday things in life has been, at times, helpful.
I’ve found that often Product teams can forget their why. It can become very easy to get lost in the day to day work. You get so caught up in the details you forget to step back and ask “why?”. Ultimately, this is what a product vision answers for you. It gives the why to your work in a succinct and motivating way.
A lack of product vision – or maybe a not well communicated vision – might show up in your team in simple ways. It might be that you find it difficult to get to an agreement on what to tackle next on your roadmap, or how to order your backlog, or even on what bug should be addressed first.
A product vision is a statement that outlines the ultimate goal of a product or service. It describes who the product is for and what problem it will solve for them. The product vision should be clear, concise, and easy to understand for everyone. It is the foundation for the product strategy, and it guides the entire product development process.
The best product visions I have worked with have a few key attributes. I pick these out as I have found them the most powerful when using product visions in the day to day work:
A great example of a good vision is Ikea’s: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” As you can see, whilst it is very broad, it meets all the above criteria. The problem they are solving is to make “everyday life” better for “the many”. So, if an idea for a chair, reserved for Sundays and priced at several thousands of pounds, was proposed it just wouldn’t fit! However, any product that could help with the things that we do everyday does. To me, tackling this is a super ambitious goal but remains flexible.
You can see how Ikea can use this simple vision to drive a bunch of activity around the whole company. Serving the many people? Where are they? You can probably put a set of data constraints around that to then map the optimum store locations, as one example.
A product vision provides a framework for the product development process. It guides decision making and sets priorities by providing a clear direction for the team to follow, like the Ikea example demonstrates. Without a product vision, businesses risk developing products that are not aligned with their long-term goals, leading to wasted resources and efforts.
Here are some of the ways in which a product vision can have an impact on your team:
Given the output of creating a product vision is a few simple sentences, the effort involved might not feel proportionate! However, as the impact of having a well crafted vision can be so huge it is well worth the time investment.
Whilst there is much detail that we could go into, here are a few high level steps to follow when creating a product vision:
A product vision is a high-level statement that outlines the ultimate goal of a product or service. It provides a framework for the product development process, guiding decision making and setting priorities. The best product visions, the ones that are the most useful in the day to day of building a product, are clear, customer-focused, ambitious and flexible.
Our product management courses gives you the tools and skills to create high quality product visions. We don’t just look at what makes a good product vision but also how you might communicate it, engage customers and stakeholders, and use it more effectively with your team. I run private cohorts for ambitious product teams; get in touch to chat about how we can work together.