More often than not we, as Product Managers, forget to take a step back and ask ourselves “Why?” Why am I including this feature? Why is the development team working on this deliverable? Why are we doing all of this in the first place?
These are important questions to reflect on. Not annually but monthly, perhaps, even weekly if you find your team going off track all the time. Ideally, these questions would point you back to your product vision which you use to vet product decisions and use to bring rationale to your “No’s.” Unfortunately, not all of us get to work on a brand new product which means when we join an existing team, we assume there is something that is guiding it towards the future. I want to challenge you here. Do not assume there is something because more often than not a product vision you think is providing a direction is long gone and has changed over time. Therefore, make it your responsibility to revisit it, to craft (if needed) a new compelling, clear yet audacious vision, to align the teams and stakeholders around it, to empower everyone to share it so that you can create a necessary focus to achieve the milestones and build meaningful experiences.
Topics around a vision have recently bubbled up in our product circles which made me very hopeful. Why? Because product vision is your North Star, it is your direction without which you, your product, customers, teams, and company are lost. It is a guiding light that does not allow anyone in the organization to take advantage of their current circumstances to trick or scam their users into behaviors that do not serve them, habits that do not improve their lives, and experiences that don’t solve their problems. To contribute to the topic and encourage Product Managers to take vision seriously, I recently co-authored a piece on the Women in Product Medium blog.
If you are looking for practical advice on how to create a compelling product vision, I encourage you to read the post here. It will equip you with actionable tips you can start applying right away.
“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” – Stephen Covey