Pattern: Product Mission, Vision and Strategy
Foundation Pattern: Products of all shapes and sizes need a product mission, vision and strategy
An articulated vision is essential for products of all shapes and sizes, as is an agreed and clear strategy.
- A product mission is the product North Star, this describes what makes the product special. It speaks to the ‘why’ of the product
- A product vision carries the product mission and begins to translate it into a series of steps
- A product strategy outlines, at a high level the approach that will take a team towards the product vision. It speaks to the ‘how’ of the product
These are living artifacts; the product vision may stay reasonably constant throughout the lifetime of the product but the strategy may need to change in response to discoveries made along the way, and to adapt to changing circumstances.
Netflix Product Vision
How to create these
There are many ways to create and capture a Product Vision and Strategy. Whereas the Product Manager is accountable for these outcomes, the team should be part of the journey as far as is possible.
One of the most well-known techniques is to use a Product Vision board:
“Our product is not big enough to need a vision or strategy”
A product vision and strategy are essential for product and team success. If your product is a feature within a larger product it follows that you may spend less time creating these outcomes, and they may be less detailed.
“Our product is not customer facing (and so does not need a vision or strategy)”
All products, by definition, have customers. Your customers may be internal teams as will be the case with a platform product, and in some ways this is an advantage as you will be able to canvas the needs of these customers in a cost effective way (as these are your colleagues).
For the ‘big picture’ definition of a product see Marty Cagan’s definition “Product = Customer x Business x Technology”. In the context of this pattern a product is a bounded piece of functionality that meets a business need and offers value to a user group. So a SaaS company that offers a few enterprise level products may break this product up into a smaller set of products. You could call this a ‘feature’ except the word ‘product’ denotes a fuller experience which includes the product packaging, metrics, user feedback loops and so on
Vision vs. Strategy | Silicon Valley Product Group
Overview In recent articles on keys to product success and the alternative to roadmaps I have highlighted that if you…
Do you have experiences with product vision or strategy? Please share :)