Every business offers a good or service(product), and it is essential that thorough planning goes into the launch of this product. This is where product vision comes in. A product vision is a clear, concise, and compelling statement that outlines the long-term goals and objectives of a product. It serves as a guide for product development and decision-making. This article will explore the importance of having a product vision, how to create one, and how to use it to drive product development.
What is Product Vision?
A product vision is a statement that outlines the long-term goals and purpose of a product. It serves as a guide for the product team, stakeholders, and customers, helping them understand the direction and strategy of the product. Product visions are usually mistaken for Product Strategy, but there is a clear difference between the two-the difference will be explained in this article. A clear and compelling product vision is essential for the success of any product. It should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). In addition, a productvision should be flexible and adaptable to the market. The product team should continuously review and update the productvision to ensure it remains relevant while updating stakeholders. Without a clear productvision, the product team may work on features that clash with the company’s product strategy, resulting in a disjointed and poorly-designed product.
How to create a Product Vision?
Now you know what a product vision is, let’s see how to make one:
- Understand the problem: Before you create a vision for your product, you need to understand the problem or need it will address. This means identifying the target market, its pain points, and the competitive landscape. A thorough understanding of your problem is essential for having an accurate productvision.
- Define the customer: Once you understand the problem, you need to define the customer who will use your product. This includes identifying their demographics, behaviors, and values. You also need to understand what kind of user they are and factor in accessibility.
- Identify the Customer’s goals: Next, you need to identify the customer’s goals and objectives. This will help you understand what they want to achieve with your product and what value it will provide to them. Customers will gravitate towards products that serve their goals.
- Develop the vision statement: With a clear understanding of the problem, the user, and the goals. A cohesive vision should be formed to cover the future state of your product. A good vision statement should be inspiring, actionable, and measurable.
- Get feedback: After you’ve developed your vision statement, get feedback from stakeholders, including customers, partners, and team members. Use this feedback to refine and clarify your vision statement.
- Communicate the vision: Once the vision statement is finalized, it’s important to communicate it to everyone involved in the product development process. This includes team members, stakeholders, and customers. Communication ensures your team has a collective mindset and can plan toward your vision.
- Use the vision to guide decision-making: The vision statement should serve as a guide for decision-making throughout the product development process. When faced with a decision, ask yourself if it aligns with the vision and contributes to achieving the desired future state.
- Continuously evaluate the vision: The product development process is not a one-time event, it’s a continuous process and the vision should be continuously evaluated. This means regularly reviewing the vision statement, assessing progress, and making adjustments as needed.
Tips for creating a product Vision
It’s also important that a productvision is not a static document; it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the market, customer needs, and the company’s goals.
Some tips for creating a product vision:
- Keep it short and simple: A vision statement should be easy to understand and remember.
- Make it actionable: A vision statement should be clear and specific enough to guide decision-making and inspire action.
- Make it measurable: A vision statement should be definite to allow progress to be tracked and measured.
- Make it inspiring: A vision statement should inspire the team, stakeholders, and customers.
Creating a product vision is a critical step in the product development process. It helps to align stakeholders, prioritize features, and guide decision-making. By understanding the problem, defining the user, identifying their goals, and developing a clear and actionable vision statement, you can ensure that your product will meet the user’s needs and achieve the desired future state.
How important is Product Vision?
The importance of a product vision can be summarized as follows:
- Provides direction: A productvision provides a clear direction for the product development process, helping to align stakeholders, prioritize features, and guide decision-making.
- Focuses on the User: A productvision helps to focus the development of a product on the needs and goals of the target customer, ensuring that the final product will meet their needs and provide value.
- Inspires the team: A well-crafted productvision inspires the product development team, motivating them to work towards a common goal and creating a sense of purpose and ownership.
- Helps to identify opportunities: A productvision can help to identify new opportunities for the product and the company, such as new markets, customer segments, or revenue streams.
- Facilitates communication: A productvision can be used as a tool for communication, both within the development team and with external stakeholders such as customers, partners, and investors.
- Serves as a decision-making tool: A productvision can be used as a guide for decision-making throughout the product development process, helping to ensure that each decision is in tandem with the desired future state of the product.
- Enables measurement of progress: A well-defined product vision can be used as a benchmark to measure progress and determine if the product is on track to achieving its goals.
- Adapts to change: A product vision should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the market, customer needs, and the company’s goals. This allows the product and the company to adapt to change and stay relevant.
- It helps to define the company’s long-term strategy: A product vision helps define the company’s long-term strategy, guiding its overall direction and growth.
- Helps to build a roadmap: A productvision can be used to create a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to achieve the desired future state of the product.
- Helps to identify and mitigate risks: A productvision can help to identify and reduce risks that may impact the product’s ability to achieve its goals.
Differences between Product Vision and Product Strategy
Product vision and product strategy are related, but they are distinct concepts that play different roles in the product development process.
Product vision is a clear, concise statement that defines the future state of a product or service. It is an inspirational statement that defines what the product should be and what it should achieve in the future. It serves as a North Star for the product development team, guiding the development of its features and functionality and helping to align stakeholders, prioritize features, and guide decision-making. An example of a productvision statement could be “To create a mobile app that allows users to easily track and manage their finances, empowering them to make informed financial decisions.”
On the other hand, a product strategy is a plan that outlines how to achieve the productvision. It defines the steps, tactics, and actions needed to turn the vision into reality. It includes details such as the target market, competitive landscape, product positioning, and revenue model. Product strategy also covers the execution plan, outlining how to build, launch, and grow the product. An example of a product strategy for the above vision statement could be:
- Targeting Millennials as the primary market segment
- Conducting market research to identify the most pressing financial pain points for the target segment
- Positioning the app as a simple and user-friendly personal finance tool
- Monetizing the app through premium features and financial planning services
- Building and launching the app on both iOS and Android platforms
- Growing the user base through targeted marketing campaigns and partnerships with financial institutions.
In short, productvision defines the future state of a product and serves as an inspiration for the product development team. Product strategy, on the other hand, is a plan that outlines how to achieve the product vision, it defines the steps, tactics, and actions needed to turn the vision into reality. While product vision provides the overarching direction for product development, product strategy is the blueprint that outlines the specific steps and actions to be taken to achieve it.
It’s important to note that product vision and strategy are not a one-time event, they need to be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the market, customer needs, and the company’s goals. Product vision is an ongoing inspiration and product strategy should be continuously adapted to the market changes and customer needs. The two concepts work in tandem to guide the product development process and ensure that the product meets the needs of the target customer and achieves the desired future state.
How to use a Product Vision to drive development?
Product vision is used to drive development in several ways:
- Prioritizing features: A product vision can be used to prioritize the development of features, ensuring that the most important and valuable features are developed first.
- Guiding design decisions: A product vision can guide the design choices, ensuring that it aligns with the desired future state and meets the needs of the target customer.
- Defining MVP: A product vision can be used to define the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the minimal set of features that must be developed to meet customers’ needs and validate the product’s value proposition.
- Informing testing and validation: A product vision can be used to inform testing and validation, ensuring that the product is tested against the desired future state and meets the needs of the target customer.
- Building a Roadmap: A product vision can is used to create a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to achieve the desired future state of the product.
- Communicating progress: A product vision is used to communicate progress to stakeholders, such as investors, partners, and customers, helping them to understand the product’s direction and progress.
- Aligning stakeholders: A productvision can is used to align stakeholders, ensuring that everyone involved in the product development process understands the desired future state and is working towards the same goal.
- Measurement of progress: A productvision is used to measure progress and determine if the product is on track to achieving its goals.
- Continuously evaluate: The product vision should be constantly assessed and updated to reflect changes in the market, customer needs, and the company’s goals.
In short, a productvision can drive development by prioritizing features, guiding design decisions, defining MVP, identifying and mitigating risks, informing testing and validation, building a roadmap, communicating progress, aligning stakeholders, measuring progress, and continuously evaluating. Using a productvision as a guide ensures that the product development process is aligned with the desired future state and meets the company’s needs.
In conclusion, a product vision is a crucial element of the product development process. It provides direction, focuses on the customer, inspires the team, facilitates communication, serves as a decision-making tool, enables measurement of progress, adapts to change, helps to define the company’s long-term strategy, helps to build a roadmap, and helps to identify and mitigate risks. It is a key element that helps to ensure that the product will meet the needs of the target customer, provide value, and achieve the desired future state
- How do you ensure that the productvision aligns with the company’s overall strategy?
- How often should a productvision be revisited and updated?
- How do you use a productvision to prioritize features and make trade-off decisions?
A product vision is a powerful tool that can help drive the development of a successful product. By articulating the product’s long-term goals and objectives, a productvision can help align the entire organization and facilitate decision-making. For more information and best practices, see ProductVision: A Roadmap to Success in Harvard Business Review.