A good Product Strategy will help you organize your product planning and research, note down your customer expectations and also plan and allot resources to the project.
What is your Product Strategy?
When i listen this sentence, I can remember the scene in which CTO very soundly yelling on product development team. He was on fire. We had been experimenting towards particular goal for last three months, and had progress. We had learned so much about what was stopping users from signing up on our site, and it has made our directions clearer to follow another strategy.
CTO really didn’t want a strategy, he wanted a plan. He wanted a plan of what we are going to build and time frame for it. Most companies thinks that Product Strategy as a plan to build features and functionalities. This is not a strategy, this is a plan. If we think Strategy as a plan, it might fails. As we know there is no guarantee for success, when we plan for something.
So, What is Product Strategy?
Product Strategy is a system of achievable goals and visions that work together to align the team around desirable outcomes for both the business and your customers.
We need a few core things for our Product Strategy to be successful:
Keep Long-Level Roadmap
The vision of yours should be high, it should aim for the long run on road, Ultimate goal where you want to see your company. Think for long term and keep it qualitative. This is the right moment to give a thought on branding, how customers will see you, competitors and targets.
Remember your road map could change as you aim to develop multiple products which might scaled to risks and rewards. So you should be ready anytime to change the plan.
The challenge is the first thought should come into your mind when you think of developing new product to achieve long term vision. Which area/team is weak and should be optimized. It’s strategic objective that helps align and focus your team around a certain aspect of product development.
Try to think from root level challenges, all are linked to each other.
The target condition helps break down the challenge. Challenges are nothing but multiple smaller problems, you need to tackle along the runway. These are set in terms of achievable and measurable metrics. When you set a target condition, you should know exactly how it behaves tomorrow.
You should have a good idea of where to start looking the challenges through.
As a product manager, you don’t have control over some things. The vision is set by C-Level executives, the challenges would set by next level management, say VP-Products. Direct managers or team leaders help their teams set effective Target Conditions. All shall work together as a team to launch any beautiful product.
It’s overall Product Manager and team’s responsibility to find out the problems and experiment to build right again.
Now, you might feel it as Business Strategy, but not product strategy. Yes, this looks like multiple business objectives, but isn’t that why we built a product? To reach our business objectives?
Product Management is an art of building a beautiful product that solves customer’s problem and thus reach your business objectives. If you are not thinking of these two, then your product might stands as just a fancy piece of material.