In this ProductTank San Francisco talk, then Head of Product at Nuna, Elena Luneva explains the importance of making sure your company has a product vision to help make better product decisions and ensure organizational buy-in.
The key points of her talk include:
- Establishing a product vision
- Aligning your team with the vision
- Using product principles
Establishing a Product Vision
As a product manager or leader moving from your own vision and creating alignment of that vision throughout your team or company takes some work. Using an Alice in Wonderland reference, Elena explains that we can think of team members as the cat in the Alice in Wonderland story. The cat wants to know the vision of where the team is going. As a product leader, you need to show team members not only where they are going but also how to get there with a good strategy.
Aligning Your Team With the Vision
To align your team with the product vision you should focus on a few areas. Elena mentions the work that she and her team did through a product vision exercise to make sure that there was alignment. The goal of this exercise was to ensure that all team members had a clear idea of the purpose of the product, the customers that would be using the product and the benefits they would receive. By ensuring that the correct message was being spread through conversations, documentation and the voice being used, they were able to drive some great desired outcomes. These included changing the focus of the team, testing the product vision to get feedback and removing business ventures or experiments that didn’t align.
Using Product Principles
Product principles are decisions that need to be made at each stage of a product lifecycle from idea to user conversations through testing, growth, evolution and finally termination. They are aligned around the vision of the company. Adding product principles to documentation and conversations during standups and sprints help to make empowered teams and allow people to move faster throughout the product lifecycle.
The key takeaway from this talk is that it is easier to build impactful products if team members care. To do that, they need to know where you’re going to get excited about it and have the autonomy to get there.