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Product Vision

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What is a Product Vision?

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Product vision definition

A product vision aims to describe the future state of a product. It is the core essence of the product. Ideally, the product vision will serve as a guide for the stakeholders, as it will remind them of the general direction the product should be taking, and the common objectives within the team. 

The benefits of a product vision

With a product vision statement, roadmapping becomes a lot easier, too. If you start with a clearly defined vision, you can translate that vision into an action-plan.

Once you have an action-plan, you can break it down even further and develop a comprehensive development plan. 

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All-in-all, product vision gives direction, motivation, and makes prioritization a lot more simple.

Examples of product vision

All of the biggest brands around the world have developed a product vision statement. Here are some of the more popular:

Amazon - To be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Apple -  To bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services. 

Disney - To be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.

As you can see, each product vision statement above clearly defines the direction each brand is taking with their product or service. Each one focuses on their desire for the future state of their product, and their common objective is always to make decisions that bring them closer to that state.

When do you need a product vision?

It is important to start a new product with a vision.

It is very likely, however, that the product vision will be tweaked or even completely changed overtime.

Regardless of the industry, product, and team, a new product should always start with a clearly defined vision statement.

How do product owners contribute to the vision?

Product owners need to own the product vision.

The vision is the guiding star to success, the measure against which the final product will be judged.

Because product owners are responsible for the product's success, managing, communicating, and championing the product vision are three of the most important things that a product owner can do.

Product owners also need to be flexible enough to allow the product vision to change. They must make sure that the product vision accurately reflects other stakeholders' requirements when they change.

End users and team members also often have valuable feedback that product owners should consider.

If the feedback is useful, it can be incorporated into the product vision, but owners are also gatekeepers, ensuring that the product vision stays clear and free of distractions.

Product owners need to constantly communicate the product vision to stakeholders, teammates, and users.

Keeping the vision front and center fixes everybody’s eyes on the end target, heading in the same direction. Sharing a clear product vision also helps teams align and make decisions that add the most user value.

What happens after we have achieved product vision in agile?

In agile, a product vision answers the following questions:

  •  What is the product?

  • Who is the primary market for the product?

  • Why does the primary market need the product?

  • How will the product benefit its primary market?

  • What differentiates the product from its competitors?

When the product owner has considered these questions, the stakeholders have agreed on metrics that define success, and then the team has created the product, the product owner’s job isn’t finished. It's time to start reviewing.

First, the stakeholders need to evaluate the product against the established metrics. Does everyone agree that the product adequately meets the agreed standards?

If yes, it’s time to celebrate your success, but then consider whether your product vision has room to grow. Alternatively, it may be time for a new product altogether — including a new product vision.

If not, depending on how much development is needed, it’s time to plan new iterations of your epic, theme, or initiative. Review the stories, the product vision, and the metrics to define and prioritize the product needs. Then create a plan that iterates your product until it matches the product vision.

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Learn how to prioritize by making it a simple process, to build products that stand out. Learn more about how to source insight, choose the right prioritization framework and much more.

Get the eBook

What Is Product Vision

General FAQ

What is a product vision statement?
The product vision statement describes the overarching long-term mission of your product. Often teams choose to write their product vision statement so their employees, leaders and stakeholders have an alligned understanding of their product vision.
What are the desirable qualities of a product vision?
The product vision describes concisely why the project is pursued and the product desired end state. A good product vision is broad and it guides a product's development while giving the creators breathing space to be creative.
How is product vision different from company vision?
A company vision describes the goals, scope and the future of the company while the product vision focuses more on serving as a guide for the stakeholders, as it will remind them of the general direction the product should be taking.

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