How to Define a Product Vision?

Whatever project you start, you should have a goal. It’s important to understand the direction of your business and define what success means to you. Product vision helps you handle this task so you can pursue your business goals and achieve the best results.

In this post, we shed light on the concept of product vision, its components, and useful tips to create an inspirational vision that will lead your team to success.

What is a project vision and how it differs from a vision statement?

Product vision, also known as a project vision,  is one of the deliverables you get during project discovery phase activities. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your project and need some help from professionals who know how to solve different business problems, the discovery phase is the first step of the development process. Discovery includes different types of research such as market research, competitors research, SWOT analysis, feature breakdown list preparation, and more. So what’s a product vision and why it’s important to define it at the very beginning of your project?

If you asked us to describe a product vision with one word, we would say it’s your product’s motto. It’s the representation of what you and your team want to achieve with a ready product. It’s a motivational statement that helps you and your team move forward and reach your goals. 

A product vision statement is a written representation of your product vision. It usually consists of several sentences and clearly describes where you’re heading in your business journey. It’s used as a reminder for the whole team about your end goal and defines success criteria so every team member works to achieve the best results.

We’d like to point out that defining a product vision is important for Scrum teams as well as Agile ones. No matter what approach you use to develop your product, understanding your vision is equally important.

Now, as you know the difference between a product vision and a vision statement, let’s see what helps you define a company vision in a way that reflects the essence of your business. 

Things to understand before writing a product vision document

While a vision statement is difficult to call a document since it consists of only several sentences, it should be very clear and catchy. That’s why you should precisely understand several key factors that should be reflected in your statement. Let’s see.

The main problems

To succeed in the market, every new product should solve a particular problem, otherwise, it won’t be in demand. So the understanding of your product vision should start with an understanding of the main problems your product will solve. 

Unique value proposition

A unique value proposition (UVP) should explain how your product will solve the problems of your clients. Your UVP should communicate the main value your customers will get when using your product. 

Competitors and target audience

Knowing your competitors allows you to make your product better than those that already exist. You can also use the information about your competitors to create an outstanding UVP.

Understanding your customers, you know exactly what product they need and how you can help them solve their pain points. The better you know your audience, the higher the chances that you’ll attract the right customers. Once you get a customer profile, you can add maximum specificity to your product vision document. 

Key performance metrics

Whatever product you build, you need to decide how you’ll measure its success. To do it, you need to list performance metrics that show your progress. For example, you might want to have a million active monthly users a year after product launch. If you manage to reach this number, it means that you are on the right path to success. The more performance metrics you can come up with, the easier it will be for you to measure your success in the future. 

Business opportunities

Try to see a bit further than obvious and provide even more information in your vision statement. Looking for more problems and solutions, you can find more opportunities for your business and grow your business in those areas, too. 

Tips to write a great product vision statement

Once you know the main information you need to communicate in your startup vision statement, you should understand how to communicate it. Below, we list several tips that help you convey your ideas effectively.

  • Make it simple. Don’t use complex words and grammatical constructions when expressing your product vision. The simpler you write, the easier it will be for your team to remember and follow your motto.
  • Be specific but flexible. In your vision statement, you should express your end goal and define your understanding of success. It’s important to make it measurable so every team member understands the exact results you want to achieve. At the same time, you should leave some space for changes as what you plan today might be irrelevant in five years.
  • Don’t use buzzwords and jargon. While such vocabulary might work for advertisement or promotional campaigns, it’s not a good idea to use it in your vision statement. People forget buzzwords in a while, and you don’t want your statement to be forgotten, do you? Make sure you use simple words and clearly communicate your goals so they are easy to understand even through the years. 
  • Inspire. Being your team’s motto, a project vision should motivate you and your team members to work towards your goal achievement. Try to make it as inspirational as possible to support your team in your common path to success.
  • Create it together with your team. Last but not least, this tip is vital to follow. A product vision shouldn’t reflect only one person’s ideas, it should reflect the vision of a whole team or company. Plus, the more people work on vision statement ideas, the higher the chances of creating something really outstanding.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create a vision statement that will become your guiding light.

Three steps to creating a vision statement

Although creating a vision statement doesn’t seem a difficult thing to do, you should take some time to make it really great. You can follow the steps below to work on your statement.

  • Start with the facts

There are three questions that you should use as a basis for your statement. The questions are:

  • What do you offer to your customers?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Why is your company outstanding?

When answering these questions, you shouldn’t worry about the form of your answers – at this stage, your task is to provide the facts that you will use as a basis for your vision statement. 

  • Put the answers together

When you have the facts, gather them in one sentence to get a motto-like statement. Since you have three answers, you can mix them and change the order to get different variants. It’s even better if you get more than one statement so that you have the choice.

  • Revise and improve

Once you get several ready variants of your vision statement, you should decide on the best one. To do this, you can gather feedback from your team and ask them what variant they like the most. They can also offer improvements and advice on the things to add or remove from your current version. 

This stage can take the longest of all and can repeat several times. Since you want your vision statement to be perfect, you might return to discussing it again and again until everybody is happy with the result. 

Once you’re ready with the final version of your product vision statement, you can use it as a guide for your whole team to achieve the success you want.

Vision statements of famous companies

If you’re still unsure how the final version of your vision statement should look, we offer you to consider the statements of other companies.

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” – Tesla

Tesla’s product vision defines the company as an accelerator of transition to alternative energy, and one can only wonder how successfully they manage to follow this statement taking into account the pace at which they build their factories. 

“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”  LinkedIn

In its statement, LinkedIn successfully communicates its main goal and value for its users. If you have ever used this social network, you can say that they manage to follow their statement just as they describe it. 

“We work hard every day to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.” – American Express

American Express is one more organization that communicates its company vision clearly and sticks to it with maximum precision. It not only values its customers but also its employees so they have a reputation as a respected brand in the world. 

There are more examples of great vision statements on the Internet. Feel free to read more and get inspired to create your own company vision. 

Conclusion

It’s impossible to achieve success without defining it. That’s why you should create a product vision and express it in the form of a vision statement. With this statement at hand, you and your team will always know where to move.

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