Having a strong product vision alone won’t make your company successful. You'll need an equally strong product strategy. If your product vision is the destination, your product strategy is the road to get there. In this video, learn more about what makes a strong product strategy and how to create one for your organization.
- Once your company has an overall product vision, it's time to create a product strategy that will help your company achieve that vision. While the product vision is intended to inspire your team and give them a destination, the product strategy can be thought of as your road to get there. Product strategy is a logical, step-by-step process for achieving the product vision. These linear steps are the specific projects or initiatives that your company plans to take on to achieve the vision. Let's use Dropbox for an example here.
If Dropbox set the product vision to become the one central place for you to safely store all of your files, what kind of product strategy could help achieve that? Well, they may start by creating software that can store one single file. Then, they may implement enough servers that they can store one gigabyte of data per user. Then, they may create the infrastructure to store one gigabyte of data for everyone in the United States. With each new product or release, they're laying one more brick in the road towards their destination, the product vision.
So how do you decide which steps to take first? Well, the most effective product strategies are based on either pursuing a specific target market or focused on one user persona. They can then lay out the strategy based on those end user needs. Let's take another look at Dropbox. After basic storage capabilities have been built, they might focus on building for a specific target market, such as large enterprise companies. A couple strategy ideas for the enterprise market may be creating business accounts instead of personal accounts, adding administrative security controls, or automatic file backups.
Or maybe Dropbox could focus on a specific user persona, such as a freelance photographer or film editor. Those creatives need a different product than the large enterprise companies. Those users may want features for collaboration, more sharing options with their clients, or faster upload tools. Of course, at some point, Dropbox will be serving several target markets and several user personas, but you need to start one at a time. Trying to be all things for all people is a recipe for failure.
Once you know which customers you're starting with, your team should obsess over their needs and create a step-by-step strategy to meet those needs. It's sounds obvious, but too often teams base their product strategy on what they see their competitors doing instead of their own customer discovery. And finally, just like your product vision, you should constantly talk about your product strategy across the whole organization. Talking about your product strategy will reinforce your product vision, which we know is a powerful tool for inspiring and motivating your team.
- Setting up the organizational structure for a product-centric organization
- Creating effective product teams
- Creating a strong product vision and strategy
- Evaluating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
- Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Performing customer and product discovery
- Prototyping products
- Creating a data-driven culture