Product vision and its meaning. Long-term goal.

Product vision and how to get started

Do you work in your team with a vision? When we ask this question in different teams, it turns out that it is far from obvious. At the same time, a well-formulated vision can significantly motivate your people in teams and help them own the business goals of your team. So let’s take a brief look at what a vision is and how to work with it. There are more types of visions, so in today’s article we will focus on the product vision.

Why work with a vision

Let’s take a look at at least 3 main reasons to work in agile teams with vision.

  1. Motivation of people – can work very well as a non-financial motivation of your people. Many people will want to work in teams that have a clear and ambitious vision. Likewise, in difficult times, a strong vision is one of the motivators that can help you retain your people. 
  2. Ownership of goals – If you and people create your product vision together and believe in it, then it will lead them to consider your business goals as theirs. Working with a vision is a team work. Conversely, if your teams are “just following the requirements that someone has given them,” you’ll have a harder time building ownership of your business goals for them. 
  3. The product that customers want – if you continuously verify the correctness of your hypotheses and validate the correctness of your vision, then your team will also focus on delivering a product that brings value to your customers. Vision will make it easier for you to prioritize requirements that add value and which don’t. Your people will no longer be distracted by irrelevant demands

Vision and its meaning

A vision is a long-term and ambitious goal that you and your team define. You and your team then focus on achieving it. This goal must be motivating and memorable. If people don’t remember what your goal is, then of course they don’t follow it. It doesn’t matter what form of vision you choose. Sometimes a few lines of text are enough, sometimes infographics or sticky notes are enough.

How to work with vision

The Product Owner is responsible for the preparation and work with the product vision. His task is to create a vision. But don’t be afraid to ask your team for help with the preparation. It is not a sign of weakness or ignorance. On the contrary, it is a symptom of an experienced leader who supports teamwork and uses experts from his team. In practice, we have the best experience when the product vision is prepared together with the team. People believe more in what they have produced together than when they get a vision already done.

The Product Owner is also responsible for sharing the vision. Because the vision motivates, it gains a huge advantage if it can sell the vision well in its team. And he shares it not only with the team, but also with the Stakeholders, with whom he should also validate it. Just like an agile team, the whole company works with vision and strategy. And the product vision is a means to support the corporate strategy and vision. We have also found it very useful to have vision ideas posted in the spaces where the team works, so that we can always see it. 

While this is a long-term goal, it is important that it does not become obsolete. Therefore, review and update your goal regularly.

Agree on how to know if you are meeting your goals. If you set an abstract goal, it will be difficult for the team to work with and the goal will not be of great value to the team. Therefore, return to the vision regularly and evaluate it. Discuss your successes or failures and where you can improve. 

Always ask for feedback on your vision and work with the comments you receive. Respect the comments of others, and they will consider the vision as theirs.

How to get started

First, secure the sources of information you need to prepare. Here you will find at least the basic ones: 

  • corporate strategy and goals
  • information about your product, its position on the market and its life stage
  • information about who your clients are and their needs
  • information about competitors and their products 

Schedule a workshop or several meetings to invite your entire team, stakeholders, and other important people who can help you prepare. When organizing, keep in mind the number of people in which you can still work effectively. Divide the meetings as needed and invite a facilitator if necessary. Do not worry too much about the form in which you record the vision. It’s more important to have content and get started.

Would you like to practically try how to prepare a product vision? Then you can sign up for our Agile Products – from vision to backlog training – from vision to backlog. At the course, you will also learn how to further prepare a product roadmap and finally a backlog.

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