Every team needs a product strategy. The Business Model Canvas, Bootstrap or Atomic Design – it seems like everyone from MBAs to developers to designers seems to have a framework to structure their strategy, except for product managers. In this ProductTank Toronto talk, Rob Hayes, Founder of Foundation PM, provides a framework to help companies structure their overall product strategy. His key points include:
- The importance of a good product strategy
- The Atomic Product Strategy framework
Watch the video to see his talk in full. Or read on for an overview of the key points.
The Importance of a Good Product Strategy
As a product manager, a good product strategy helps to provide structure. It outlines the day to day tasks, feature initiatives and the overall vision the team is working towards. Good strategy provides alignment and focus for the team. It keeps you on track with what you’re solving, the metrics you need to improve, and when to say yes or no to new suggestions.
In early stage startups, strategy changes a lot, so there isn’t a need to have a full strategy until product-market fit is established. As a product manager, you will have two options to make sure everything gets done. Micromanage the team to make sure everything fits right or equip them with the tools they need.
The Atomic Product Strategy Framework
This strategy consists of a vision, strategic objectives, a roadmap and tasks. Each section can be broken down the strategy into a series of time horizons. The top tier (vision) has a horizon of years in most cases and outlines and the bottom tier (tasks) focus on what is going on at a granular level from today to next week.
The vision is largely abstract but defines the product, the customers and the value of the product. Objectives provide specific measurable goals. The roadmap consists of a prioritized list that will deliver on the structure and can include product marketing, technical debt and other areas. Finally, tasks focus on the day to day and should map all the way back to the vision.
The key takeaways are the benefits of a good product strategy. It provides a clear line of sight between day to day work and the overall vision. Product managers can know that things will go in the right direction without micromanaging, and provide them with more freedom to focus on other things.