An Overview of the 5 Stages Necessary to Create a Product Vision

Realising the Project’s Product Goal at its Core

It is common for the development team to feel pressure to deliver quickly and meet deadlines, even if the ultimate direction of the product is uncertain. This can be a common issue during Scrum projects where the urgency to finish the product may overshadow the crucial step of establishing its intended purpose. However, it is crucial that teams do not overlook this vital step, which is key to creating a high-quality product: the product vision.

To guarantee an effectively structured project and ensure team members are collaborating towards a shared objective, it is vital to establish a product vision. All individuals involved – including marketers, salespeople, and programmers – should have the chance to contribute ideas to the vision. Once established, it is crucial that all team members are aware of and committed to it. If you’re seeking to develop a product vision with your team, there are five essential steps to follow.

1. Define the Purpose of the Product.

Evaluating the purpose and reasoning behind the creation of the product is crucial. Before executing a concept, it is essential to assess its appropriateness and potential benefits. Determining the product’s necessity will guide its design process and influence management, sales, and marketing strategies.

2. Recognise the Target Market and Determine Product Usage.

Identifying the product’s target audience is critical to ensure that it meets the needs of the end user. By analysing the intended consumer base, it is possible to determine the issues that the product is trying to tackle and identify the necessary features that need to be incorporated to enhance quality of life for users. Conducting thorough research enables the recognition of the problems the product aims to solve, ultimately benefiting the end user.

3. Analyse Competitors.

Examining the market and identifying the distinctive features of your product vision – even if the general direction is still being formed – is crucial. What sets this product apart from its competitors? What are its advantages? Answering these questions could push the business in new directions, different from its existing products.

4. Strive to Inspire Others.

The product vision should inspire customers to buy. Below, you can find examples of successful product visions that have accomplished this goal.

  • American Express‘s goal is to become the world’s most highly regarded service brand, as emphasised by the company’s slogan, “We are dedicated to making American Express the most esteemed and respected brand in the world.” Our steadfast commitment to excellence drives us to constantly aim for the highest standards in every aspect of our operations.
  • The objective of Honest Tea is to create and market delicious, healthy, and organic beverages.
  • IKEA’s mission is to improve the daily lives of as many people as possible.

5. Concise is Better.

Although it may be challenging to convey everything you want to communicate through the product vision, keeping it concise will likely increase the likelihood of its successful execution. Additionally, a shorter phrase or sentence is often more memorable than a lengthy block of text. Your team may generate multiple product vision statements, and to streamline the process, you may choose to merge some, eliminate others, or seek input from external stakeholders on which ones were most compelling.

If you’re struggling to develop a product vision, use this template as a starting point for your brainstorming sessions.

  • Targeting

    …the perfect customer for our business.
  • Identifying

    …who (problem/opportunity)…
  • An

    (product category) example of (product name) is…
  • Providing

    (primary value proposition)…
  • Distinct from

    (key factor that drives success)…
  • Our Products

    (highlighting the key differentiators)

Once you have defined the product vision, it should serve as a guiding principle for all future decisions. Before accepting any requests for modifications, alterations or other changes, compare them to the product vision to ensure they align with the intended purpose. If the suggested modification brings the product closer to the product vision, then approve it; otherwise, it should be rejected.

A product vision that embodies the fundamental values and principles of a company can be a compelling method to encourage customer loyalty. Establishing a common vision between the company and its customers is vital for the successful release of any new product.

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