June 8, 2015

Product Vision = Higher Purpose

Sight and no visionHaving a product vision is essential in Agile Product development. It is the highest statement of value and provides context and direction for the value of Epics and Stories.

The Roman Pichler product vision board is a good start for making a vision and it is what we use on the Adventures with Agile vision page on our website.

The vision can include who the people are, who are deriving value from your product. You can then include what that value is, and why they need it right now. This is the ‘Why’ you are building your product.

On Roman’s board, he also lists some of the product details, this is the ‘What’ of what you are building. We generally leave anything but the very highest level of ‘How’ off the board.

I once saw a board with a statement that we were trying to build vendor lock-in to the product in order retain customers. This is not a value item. We all want to make money and we all want our customers to stay with us. Building vendor lock-in is not going to achieve this in the medium to long term, it is a self-defeating idea.

Instead, think of ways that your customer will want to stay with you, make your product so good that they wont want to leave. Then give them an easy migration path away from you in case they want to leave.

This is actually a far more profitable path and will create a much better relationship between you and your customers, and leave you free to focus on innovative and valuable stories.

Have faith in your product or do something else! Believe your customers are not stupid and treat them as partners. Have a great product and feel like you did a good, honest day’s work making the world a better place.

Simon Powers

Simon Powers is an Agile Coach specialising in large scale transformations and agile adoption. He has a background in very large enterprise architecture which has led on to organisational design and agile process refinement. Simon is the founder of Adventures with Agile.