Every product has a vision behind it, but not every vision is articulated in such a way that is inspiring and striking to those involved. Striking product vision is a key factor in ensuring that your business is profitable. Here are seven great and easy-to-implement ways to create and articulate a clear and defined product vision. Using these tools will help get others excited about your vision.
Gartner analysts say that it’s important to “Determine your company’s top priorities to improve upon related to product strategy and execution. The key to improving product life cycle performance is to focus on one or two primary improvement goals at a time.“
1. Create a Vision Statement
A vision statement should be an “elevator pitch” that you can use to communicate your vision in clear, concise, and convincing terms. A good vision statement includes the purpose of the product, the goals, and the requirements for seeing the product through to completion. The vision statement ensures that you have a guide to what the team is trying to achieve.
2. Make Sure the Product Objective is Clear
Your vision statement should include a clear statement of the niche your product is intended to fill. Write about the product in the past tense, as if it already exists, and describe its purpose, function, and longevity.
Avoid sweeping generalizations and overuse of jargon. This will allow you not only to imagine the product in use, but will keep the vision just vague enough that you won’t be limited by your own vision statement.
3. Make Sure That Your Vision is Shared
You can have the most complete, incredible vision for your product, but if the people involved don’t share your vision, your product will never see success.
Consider setting up collaborative workshops. A collaborative environment not only helps ensure that everyone is on the same page, but also fosters an environment for refined ideas and integrated new goals that come up in discussion.
Start the workshop by having everyone involved write down their goals and visions. If they’re close, you’re well on your way to success. If they’re drastically misaligned, there is obviously some work to do.
Gartner recommends to also “Get stakeholder involvement. Once primary improvement goals are identified, get buy-in from three sets of stakeholders: one or more senior executive sponsors, business operations stakeholders and the IT organization.”
4. Identify Your Users, and Put Them First
In the early days of developing your vision, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of imagining all of the people who might benefit from your product, but it’s important to take a step back and identify your users.
Once you’ve identified your core user group, it’s important to visualize what their needs are and put those ahead of everything else. Keep your vision flexible and ensure that you are always refocusing it to encompass the needs of your user.
5. Understand the Purpose of the Product
After identifying your user, identify the exact nature of your product. Write down 3-5 key features of your product, and the associated features that set it apart from the competition.
Remember that while functionality matters, non-functional qualities like performance and design are important and desirable as well. The list doesn’t have to be comprehensive, but rather should identify the features that are most important to your target group.
6. Create a Roadmap for the Project
Creating a roadmap is an important part of turning your vision into a reality. ProdPad tells us that the roadmap doesn’t even have to use project management tools, but it should be a document that shows your stakeholders and the people involved what your vision is, and what initiatives you have in mind to turn your vision into a reality.
7. Make Sure Your Roadmap is Flexible
Once you have a roadmap that communicates your vision, keep it flexible.
Rework recommends leaving out the dates, so that the document is perceived as a flexible plan rather than a concrete project plan. Doing so will ensure that your vision is striking, clear, and flexible enough to respond to changes and challenges.
Following these tips will allow your vision to be articulated in such a way that the people involved will see your vision in the same clear and inspiring terms that you do.