Product goals represent the translation of a product vision into measurable and clear objectives. A product goal usually describes a problem you are trying to solve with your product. Goals are crucial because they drive you to carefully think through and plan your product development.
Product goals also highlight how the product will support your business and can help your business grow.
Goals should be actionable, easy to understand, and achievable. They should have a fixed time frame, usually three months to a year.
Product goals as a translation of product vision should be tied to metrics. This helps you accurately measure how well you’ve achieved each product goal.
Goal: Increase revenue by at least double
Metric: +$200 millions revenue
Goal: Become a top-rated app within ten months
Metric: #1 rated app in both Android and iOS marketplaces
Goal: Increase the partner ecosystem to be the largest within 12 months
Metric: +200 partners
Goal: International expansion
Metric: Localize into global markets
Product goals have a clear purpose: to precisely define what the product will achieve, how you will measure it, and the timeframe for achieving the goal. Goals are focused objectives that demand completion in a given timeframe.
Product initiatives combine features and key tasks into highly complex projects engineered to achieve the product goals. With initiatives, you can combine features, performance improvements, and other tasks into themes that create a solid structure for the product workflow.
Goals and initiatives are important and equally necessary. Goals drive your planning and thinking daily, while initiatives represent how you’ll enable long-term success.
While goals and initiatives seem to work in harmony, they also have differences. The main difference is that goals represent the desired results, and initiatives represent each step a company takes to reach them.
Both product goals and initiatives matter because bringing them together keeps your team focused on what they need to achieve and how to achieve it while keeping you from becoming distracted by new ideas.