If you are leading a product team, then you know that it can be difficult to stay focused on the right things. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear and compelling vision for your product.
A great vision helps guide your team to success by providing direction and alignment around what you are building and how you are going about doing it. The best visions have 5 key traits:
An aspirational product vision is one you can’t achieve right now; it’s simply not possible with the resources available today (which means they’re probably not within reach). An aspirational product vision takes into account what customers want, what competitors offer, and how technology will change over time.
It should also be achievable, because if it isn’t, then there’s little motivation for anyone to work towards it. Achievability means each person in your organization understands what needs to happen for them (and by extension your company) to achieve this goal.
The vision should cover a period of 3-5 years. If it’s just a few months, that means there won’t be enough time for the team to make a difference. This is a good question to ask when you’re trying to figure out if your product vision is well-rounded. If it’s just a few months, that means there won’t be enough time for the team to do much with it—it’ll feel like they’re spinning their wheels.
4. Customer focused
The product vision should be customer-centric and focused. In other words, it needs to be a coherent statement of what you’re going to build that’s relevant and valuable for your customers.
The reason this is important is because many people think the product vision is just a marketing tool, but it’s more than that: it’s an overall plan that aligns everyone in your company with who you’re building for and why they need it.
5. Business aligned
A good product vision should be honest and clear about where your company needs to focus (and why), what resources are required, and who will be responsible for each task along the way. If those things aren’t spelled out clearly, your team may feel lost or confused as they try their best to align with what they believe is expected of them.
A great product vision can guide your team to success.
A great product vision can guide your team to success. It’s a high-level view of the product, not the features or functionalities. It should be aspirational and achievable, long-term and customer focused and business aligned.
It should also be able to inspire people to work together.
A product vision is not something that you can just throw together on a whiteboard in five minutes at the beginning of a sprint or release planning session—it takes time for stakeholders to come together around an idea and create one that everyone feels good about committing too.