A Practical Foundation for Product Strategy

Let’s be clear: there are many, many ways to design a product, and none of them are perfect for every situation. Your method will depend on the maturity of your organization, the resources on your team, the complexity of the project, and your own skill set. In a larger organization there is likely already a process and/or mentors to guide things but smaller companies often have people with with more experience making things as opposed to strategy work.

No one seems sure how many startups fail each year, but the general consensus is that it’s a lot. Having a well designed product that meets a genuine need is a great way to increase your chance of success. This article outlines a few basic steps that should help you create your own product strategy, customizable to your needs and situation.

Getting Started: Take Inventory

Hypotheses

Product Vision

For (target customers) who (statement of primary opportunity), (ourproduct name) is a (product category) that (key benefit, reason to buy). Unlike (primary competitive alternative), our product (statement of primary differentiation).

It’s not a flashy and new technique, but if used properly it can clearly communicate the basic outline of what we’re making, and can also be a bit inspiring. Remember that the goal here is to give people a quick outline of what you’re making rather than getting into the details.

Desired Product Outcomes

Second, the outcomes will help you to weigh and prioritize the features you do eventually come up with. An example of an outcome could be “Create better ways of <the thing you provide> that focus on <way you do it differently>.” Spend the time to create great outcomes and when you achieve them, if your hypotheses are right, you’ll likely have a great product.

Bonus Points: Design Principles

Sooo, ship it?

Originally published at blogs.adobe.com.

Product strategist, designer, writer, public speaker, urban rancher. @burtbrumme | linkedin.com/in/kkrumme

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