Why produce a Vision Statement, Product Vision and Part of Product Vision?

The answer to the question in the title is we produces these different levels of Visions to set up goals that will tell us what, why, how and where the goal is we are achieving together which by it self has a positive influence on the motivating.

Vision Statement

Often executives within a company define every now and then the Mission (Goal) for the next 2-3 years. Which way should we steer the “boat” what should be our lighthouse? Once this goal is defined all employee should move in that direction and help to achieve this goal! Now we have some high defined mission statement usually no employee can relate to asking “how can my work influence on this mission?”, but worse is when Frankie says “why should I change just to deliver something that some executive has come up with and this executive doesn’t know me or my work”.

Goal Hierarchy
Classic management suggest that we should make a goal hierarchy where the mission statement is at the top and you ask the question “How can we achieve this?” breaking down the vision statement all the way down to the employee making it tactical (but this I never haven’t seen done). What I have seen and done with success is to set up a vision for every product in your portfolio as suggested by Roman Pichler in his article “Succeeding with Scrum: Start by Creating an Effective Product Vision“.

Product Vision (PV)
A Product Vision (PV) is the breakdown of the company vision statement or mission and is more short termed focused like 1-2 years. How to make and what to include in the product vision can be learned be evaluating the article “Envisioning your product” and it is not just a classical goal hierachy.

Part of Product Vision (PoPV)
Every product will be developed successive which makes it necessary breakdown the Product Vision (PV) into even a shorter termed Part-of-Product Vision (PoPV). The focus of a PoPV is in a time span of 1-6 months. It all starts with the first version of the PoPV called GO1 which will contain information for the portfolio board is a sense of a  “brief or a chapter” which lay out the objectives, business model, business case, understanding our competitors on this topic giving the possibility to find and define the “winning sells points”, the top 3-5 features (1- or 2 epics) and a rough estimate of the features Like estimates in t-shirt size ). Without any estimation it is impossible for the portfolio board to decide which PoPV there is to be worked on next in relation to cost vs. benefit.

PoPV Go1
When the first PoPV, called PoPV Go1 (first gate) has got “Go” from the portfolio board the Product Owner will have to refine the PoPV in collaboration with the developers and different selected stakeholders into a new state called PoPV Go2 (second Gate).

PoPV standard template
1. Elevator talk (10 lines that describe what this part of the product will deliver)
2. Who is going to buy the product? Who is the target customer? Who is going to use the product? Who are its target users?

3. Which needs will the product address? What value does the product add?
4. Which product attributes are critical for meeting the needs selected and therefore for the success of the product?
5. What will the product roughly look like and do?
6. How does the product compare against existing products, from both competitors and the same company?
7. What are the product’s unique selling points? What is its target price?
8. How will the company make money from selling the product? What are the sources of revenue and what is the business model?
9. Is the product feasible? Can the company develop and sell the product?

Frankie says “all this upfront design – you aren’t agile at all?”
I believe you need to make proper preparation and that is something that I haven’t see many books or articles describing for the agile working.

Vacation at the Mediterranean Sea
Now let me take you for “a spin”. Lets imaging that we are to take our car on a vacation and go to a place we never have been before. First of all you like to check out some information of this place compared to other places. As an example we want to go to the Mediterranean Sea (That is our Product Vision – PoPV).  We can either go to Italy, France, Greece, Spain or some of the countries that I don’t believe we can go by car to. All four countries are on the product roadmap so once we have visited one of the country we can proceed to the next country forfilling our roadmap untill there the different parameters like cost vs. benefit is negative or we can find some other place to travel to (focusing on an other Product). But before deciding which country we want to go to first we need to investigate and compare some basic parameters like what housing, food and entertainment (the 3-5 features we have focus on) and a rough estimate of cost for each site getting the cost vs. benefit. You are now at the PoPV Go1 gate and have picked out one site (France) to continuing with going into more details.

PoPV Go2 on vacation
The work from PoPV Go1 to the more detailed PoPV Go2 is often shared with members of the trip. Now we don’t want to plan out the hole journey but before starting the car we like to have the first sprit ready (let’s call this the first 3 days). Going from Denmark to France I like to know the destination city, where we should sleep the first night or two, know the map of the road at least the which highways and what specific road taxes I need to pay beforehand and toll roads. So I argue that before any first sprint we want to have  detailed information. We could on the other hand just go a head and let every day lead where it will lead us. This way of working is often misunderstood been defined as agile, but I disagree strongly that planning as we drive or develop is agile and I call that Cowboy programming).
Developer collaboration
The must important aspect for getting the Company Vision statement into the working developers is laying in the ability of the Product Owners to collaborate with the developers to get the PoPV Go2 details in place together. It is absolute vital for all the work done beforehand that the developers are part of defining the PoPV Go2 for getting the right of set before starting the first iteration. There is much to be said about motivation once you have the PoPV Go2 in place made in collaboration with the developers – This I guess I ‘ll blog about soon. Until then please enjoy this teaser of 10 min. youtube video about motivation which also somehow explains why we need the Product Vision http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

One thought on “Why produce a Vision Statement, Product Vision and Part of Product Vision?

  1. Alojamiento web

    Like any important goal, a good vision equally appeals to our intellect and to our emotions. It should motivate and inspire people. The product vision should be clear and stable; broad and engaging; and short and sweet.

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