8 tips for creating a compelling Product Vision

8 tips for creating a compelling Product Vision

 

Describe the Motivation behind the Product

It is excellent to have an idea for a new product. But that isn’t sufficient. A vision that guides everyone involved in making the product successful is what you need: product management, development, marketing, sales, and support. The vision of the product is the overarching objective you are aiming for the reason for creating the product. In an ever-changing world, it provides a continued purpose, acts as the true north of the product, provides motivation when the going gets tough, and facilitates effective collaboration. Ask yourself why you are eager to work on the product, why you care about it what positive change the product should bring about, and how it will shape the future to choose the right vision. One of my favorite statements about vision comes from Toys R Us. The vision of the company is to put joy in the hearts of children and a smile on the faces of parents.” The declaration concisely captures the intent behind the products and services of the company and describes the shift that users and customers should experience. If you choose a business vision for your product, that’s all right. Otherwise, make sure the two visions are not in conflict but aligned with each other.

 

Look beyond the Product

Be clear about the distinction between the vision of the product and the product, and do not confuse the two. The former is the motivation for the product to be developed; the latter is a means of achieving the overall objective. I want to create a computer game that allows kids to choose and interact with characters, choose different tracks and worlds of music, choreograph their dances, and play with friends. This might be a good idea, but it’s not the vision itself. An efficient vision of the product goes beyond the product and captures the change that should instigate the product. Helping children enjoy music and dancing” would be a vision for the game.”

 

Distinguish between Vision and Product Strategy

Your vision of the product should not be a plan that demonstrates how to reach your goal. Instead, the product vision and the product strategy, the path towards the goal, should be kept separate. This allows your strategy to be modified while remaining grounded in your vision. (In Lean Startup, this is called a pivot.) At the same time, the prerequisite for choosing the proper strategy is a vision. If you don’t have an overarching objective, then you can’t determine how best to get there. The famous conversation between the Cheshire Cat and Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland nicely illustrates this. Asked what way Alice should take, the cat replies: “That depends a great deal on where you want to get to.” “Alice says, “I don’t care much where. “It doesn’t matter which way you go, then the Cheshire Cat responds. The Product Vision Board is a handy tool for describing both the product vision and product strategy. Its top section captures the vision and the strategy to realize the vision is set out by the ones below.

Distinguish between Vision and Product Strategy

 

Employ a Shared Vision

For your product, you can come up with the most beautiful vision. But if the people involved in making the product successful are not buying into it, it’s pointless. The product vision must be shared to utilize the vision as the true north of the product, to establish unity, and to promote productive cooperation, everyone must have the same vision. People pursue their strategies without a common goal, making it far more difficult to achieve product success. The use of a collaborative vision workshop is a perfect way to build a common product vision. You build it together rather than formulating a product vision and only selling it to the main individuals. Use the concept of the product as input and ask participants in the workshop to catch their inspiration to work on the product. Then compare the various dreams, look for common ground, and merge the various expectations into a new one on which everyone agrees.

Employ a Shared Vision

 

Choose an Inspiring Vision

“You don’t have to be driven if you’re working on something exciting that you care about. The vision pulls you,” Steve Jobs said. Therefore, your vision should empower individuals, connect them to the product, and inspire them. I think that there is an especially deep motivation and enduring inspiration for a vision based on creating value for others. When I feel unsure, it directs me far better than a money-or self-centric vision would. There is nothing wrong with making money, of course, and a viable business model is required for any product. But I find that people excel when they think that something positive and beneficial is being achieved. Going back to the video game example used earlier, “Diversify and grow the company” may be an alternative vision for the game. But such a vision is not in my opinion, inspiring and motivating enough. In moments of uncertainty, it would not bring me up. I prefer to capture them in the product plan (using the Product Vision Board’s Business Goal section) instead of specifying business objectives in the vision. If you are not sure, I recommend that you include the beneficial change that the item can produce for others and your company without attempting to measure or detail such advantages. Otherwise, as you pivot, your vision can no longer be able to direct you.

 

Think Big

Make the vision of the product wide and positive so that it inspires people and can make a shift in the plan possible. For example, the vision of the computer game “Help kids enjoy music and dancing” is large and optimistic. It does not apply to a particular target audience or the actual product concept, and it is not content with making an enjoyable gaming experience. It’s looking for more. If the concept of making a video game for kids turns out to be ill-conceived, then there are always ways to make the vision come true. I might decide to open a dance school or develop a virtual dance course, for example. (I highly doubt that I will be good at either, considering that I am an incredibly bad dancer. But I have some choices at least.)

 

Keep your Vision Short and Sweet

It should be easy to communicate and to understand, as your vision is the ultimate reason for creating the product. The requisite specifics are generated by other artifacts, including a product strategy, a business model, a product backlog, and a marketing plan. Your vision should be short and sweet, quick to recite and memorize. To catch the idea, I like to employ a simple slogan. To get to such a vision, it might take me several iterations, but I find it worth the effort. As Leonardo da Vinci said The ultimate sophistication is simplicity.”

 

Use the Vision to Guide your Decisions

Using the vision to direct the product choices and to concentrate on the ultimate purpose for the product’s existence for all. Although the vision alone is not adequate, it is the first filter for new ideas and demands for improvement: anything that helps you move closer to your vision is helpful and should be considered, be it a new feature, a change of direction, or a new technology; anything that does not, is not useful and should probably be discarded.

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