What is a Product Vision and Why is it Important?
In your work as a product manager, “product vision” is a term you’d often come across. It is safe to say that your work can become more complicated when you lack a well-defined one.
What exactly is a product vision? Why should you give it special attention in the course of doing your work? Find out in this article.
What is a Product Vision?
A product vision refers to what you hope to achieve with your product. In other words, it captures the basis of your offering and what you hope it becomes over the long term.
Product visions usually come as product vision statements, which tend to be aspirational. It communicates what you are aspiring to achieve with your product.
Ideally, a product vision statement conveys your reason(s) for wanting to create a product. Here’s an example by Instagram: “To capture and share the world’s moments.”
Why Do You Need a Product Vision?
Let’s quickly consider some of the most important reasons you need a product vision.
To provide direction
Without a product vision, work by teams would assume a haphazard dimension. You need it to set the tone for what you are trying to achieve. It enables your teams and stakeholders to know what you hope a product would become or deliver in the long term. A product vision informs your strategic goals and initiatives.
To facilitate better decision-making
A product vision has been likened to the North Star. This is because it provides an important point of reference whenever you are confused about anything. It guides your decision when you are considering adding a feature to decide if it’s worthwhile. With it, you find it easier to get your priorities right.
To foster a common understanding
It becomes a lot easier to bring your teams and stakeholders into line when you have a product vision. Whenever anyone is confused about the essence of what you are working on, they can get some help by referring back to the statement.
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Creating a Product Vision
Obviously, you are usually going to need a product vision when you are considering a new product. It can also be useful for directing the activities of teams when planning updates.
A crucial first step to creating a product vision is to know your target users and get their opinions. Putting together an effective statement requires that you know what your customers need and you plan to fulfill it. Your teams will rely on this information when developing a product to improve its chances of being a winner.
There are different approaches you can adopt to get the necessary information and share it with internal and external stakeholders. They include a simple market assessment, SWOT analysis, or business canvas planning.
As a product manager, you will be the central figure in the creation of a product vision statement. However, everyone in your company can be involved in defining the vision.
The product team should make an effort to seek input from other people in the company. This can go a long way in promoting a shared understanding of the vision down the line.
It is your duty as a PM to then communicate the product vision statement to everyone in your company after you have finished putting it together.
Evidence shows that many of the most famous brands today have clear and punchy vision statements. These must-have played a part in their successes without a doubt.