In a previous post I wrote about the importance of developing a product vision for your product or product line. In this post I want go a little bit deeper and share some of the key characteristics of a strong product vision.
First a Brief Refresher
A product vision can be thought of as a high-level description of what a particular product aspires to become. In other words, its idealized future state. The narrative description of the product’s idealized future state sets a target for maximizing value and is often supported by an aligned product strategy. While the product vision sets the aspirational goal the aligned product strategy charts a desired path to achieving the product vision and describes the steps needed to get there.
How Do You Know You Have a Solid Product Vision?
- It must clearly articulate a future idealized picture of what the product will look like or be when you bring it to market
- This picture of the future should provide a view of the product at least a year into the future and quite possibly many more years depending upon the type of product
- It should set a high bar in order to drive innovation with an eye toward future market success. In fact, it may even seem unattainable based upon the resources, staff or technologies at your disposal today
- The vision should define who the target customer is and the ultimate problem that your product solves or the need that it addresses
- It should be intuitive and easily understood by internal stakeholders and customers alike
- While a vision stands on its own it should also inform downstream activities such as product strategy, requirements prioritization and product roadmaps
- Finally, the final product should be written in a way that does not require constant change every time your market dynamically evolves
Compare Your Draft Product Vision Against This Checklist
If you are charged with crafting a compelling product vision keep this checklist in mind. If you are able to check off the various bullets once you are complete you will know that you have a strong product vision in hand.