Building a Product Vision
VP Product at Flyt
"Product vision is a fuzzy topic. Everyone talks about it, says you must absolutely do it well, but when pushed — no one knows exactly how to go about it. For us at Flyt, product vision is primarily a communication tool. Out of all the things it must do for us, it must be easy to share, understand and pass around. We also wanted it to be a focus tool. This means we want it to show up in conversations and help us frame scope and avoid premature optimisation."
Step 0 - Hit Refresh
"We started by doing a reset of expectations with the entire company. We wanted to go back to first principles and build shared understanding on what 'vision' is, why we should have one here at Flyt, and what kind of format it should hold if it is to be useful for us. We did this through a 30 minute lunch presentation."
Step 1 - Define (first draft)
"We then asked everyone to share what was already on their minds, how that's anchored to the customer, the market, technological trends and the world. (20% of time)"
- 1:1 interviews with the founders
- Workshop to map our value proposition canvas, customer profiles
- Request to subject matter experts on World, Market and Technology trends
Step 2 - Charge (give your vision power)
"We chose 10 of our drafted ideas and then turned the dial on the words we had so far, making them powerful, expectant and inspirational. (20% of time)"
- Start by explaining how things change given three levers (expectancy, inspiration, direction) and listing some prompter questions.
- Give each person a sharpie and 10 minutes to metaphorically turn each dial up to 11, one lever at a time.
- After each person is done, have them say their top three choices out loud and take note of any emotional reaction from the group.
Step 3 - Make it stick (the hard part)
"Making our product vision stick to the conversations we have every day. It is all about sets and reps of communication. (60% of time)"
- Gathered ideas by free listing and prioritized them by effort and impact.
- Modelled the ideas against and influence model.
- Mapped the ideas to a calendar and assigned owners.
- "One reason people loved the lunch and learn so much is that vision, as a concept, transcends product, in a way that it touches people and their personal life's. At a very human level, people know that having something that connects the dots for us moving forward is absolutely necessary. We also linked this to the concept of 'faith'. The superpower here is to act with expectancy. When you act with expectancy, you trust that something will happen, and act like it's going to, while holding reality top of mind. Any vision you cast, must have expectancy. A vision without expectancy is just a plan."
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VP Product at Flyt
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