Characteristics of a Good Product Vision

Characteristics Of A Good Product Vision

June 26, 2024 | Lavaneesh Gautam

A product vision is a succinct, inspiring articulation of where your product is heading. It embodies the essence of your product — the core values it upholds, the core needs it fulfils, or the core problems it solves. 

Read: Product Vision: What It Is & Why We Need It

Let’s learn what good looks like by understanding characteristics of a Product Vision.

Characteristics Required In a Good Product Vision 

Let’s look at what attributes will make a Product Vision good. 

  1. Clear and Concise: A product vision should be straightforward and easy to understand. It should succinctly convey what the product aims to achieve, avoiding overly technical jargon or complex language. This conciseness and clarity help in communicating the message more frequently. You can start most of the meetings with a mention of the Product Vision and always ‘start with why’. 

You can use tools like ‘Elevator Pitch’ to bring clarity and conciseness. 

2. Aligned with Business Goals: The product vision should align with the broader goals and strategy of the company. This alignment ensures that the product supports the overall business strategy and contributes to its success. 

Have a look at Product Onion that we teach in the Professional Scrum Product Owner class.  This image shows that Product Vision is part of a wider Business Strategy. Lack of this alignment leads to disengagement from the senior leadership and management. 

From Professional Scrum Product Owner Class 

3. Customer-focused: It should reflect a deep understanding of the target customers’ needs, preferences, and pain points. A customer-centric vision is more likely to result in a product that meets market demands and achieves success.

Products are for customers. A lack of clear connection with users/customers of the products can take away the original purpose of the product itself. 

Making it customer focus we can make Product vision more aspirational and inspirational. 

4. Free from ‘Solution’: Product Vision is about ‘Why’ rather than ‘What’ and ‘How’. By adding the solutions to the Product Vision we are limiting our options to reach there and this may negatively impact the innovation. 

By avoiding specific solutions in the product vision, we prevent limiting our options and foster innovation. Keeping the vision free from solutions also contributes to its stability, as desired outcomes generally remain constant over time. However, the methods to achieve these outcomes can vary significantly, allowing flexibility and adaptability in how we reach the same objectives through different approaches.

5. Stable: The product vision should maintain stability over time, ensuring a consistent direction even as the product evolves and expands. This consistent vision prevents confusion and keeps the team focused, despite the inevitable changes during the development process. While refinements to clarify and enhance the vision are beneficial, it’s crucial that these adjustments do not alter its fundamental essence.

6. Inspirational and Aspirational: It should inspire the team and stakeholders by presenting a compelling picture of the future. A vision that excites and motivates will drive the team to achieve better focus and better decision-making. 

By aligning the product vision with business goals and customer needs, we can instil this crucial attribute. This approach helps the team understand that they are not merely completing tasks but contributing to a greater purpose.

7. Feasible: While being aspirational, the vision must also be realistically attainable. It should challenge the team but remain feasible with available resources and technologies.

Without this attribute, creating a Product Vision becomes merely a tick-box activity. We might develop a well-worded and impressive Product Vision, but it holds no real value beyond being featured on a website or in marketing materials.

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