Building a product without a plan is like navigating without a map. And creating a product without a product strategy is like planning a building without the blueprint. So yes, you may succeed in creating something, but both the stability and scalability will always be in question.
Look, we understand. Once you have a good idea, you’re in a hurry to bring the product to life. But taking the time to make sure you have the right expertise (i.e. a product strategist) is well worth it. This will ensure your product has a solid roadmap and scaling plan. You’ll also lessen the number of times you have to go back and add something because you didn’t foresee the initial need.
At Flux, we can never overstate the importance of having a product strategist be a part of the team. In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of ways product strategy can boost your business.
Having a Clear Vision – Great Foundation for Product Strategy
Creating and articulating a clear vision is key. Your vision should reflect the product’s ‘reach for the stars’ place. What is your highest hope for how your products can serve your target audience? Answering this question may take more than a few tries. So it’s nice to have a Product Strategist on board who can help you navigate these waters. Based on the product’s vision, you’ll be ready to move on to step 2: building a roadmap.
Creating a Roadmap for the Entire Team to Follow
You shouldn’t rely solely on your intuition in product development. By working with a PS you will have a robust roadmap to follow. Product strategists develop roadmaps based on the product vision, competitive analysis, market research, and goals. The roadmap provides great motivation for the whole team. It’s a way for everyone to be able to tie their daily tasks to the bigger picture.
However, we understand that in most current agile startups it’s not possible to always stick to the plan. So another role of a PS is to always follow the market, subsequent trends, and bring the client on board. This can result in making changes to the roadmap accordingly.
Making Product Strategy Decisions Based on Competitive Market Analysis
Another thing PSs help you do is to stay ahead of the competition by doing a deep dive market analysis of similar products and bringing your a comprehensive report. Based on an analysis of trends you can make strategic decisions on what parts of your products to prioritize and what unique value your product needs to offer in order to stand out. Market analysis is also key in anticipating the needs of users in the future and also stay aware of updates regarding laws from Google or other major search engines where your product will be seen.
Setting SMART Goals
No product strategy would be complete without setting SMART goals. PSs are able to assess your product vision and appropriately match it with the teams’ capacity to come up with goals that are specific and measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. On the other hand, don’t forget that while goals have to be realistic and deliver results, your product vision is a place where you can really stretch the imagination. Use your vision to articulate your dreams that your goals will help you build toward.
Get the Most Out of Product Development
Overall, the point we’ve been trying to get across is that Product Strategists are there to facilitate the product development process and not to add another level of bureaucracy to your status meetings. Maybe you already have a product strategy in place. Check to see if it contains all the components above: product vision, roadmap, competitive market analysis, and goals. If something is missing, you may want to consider onboarding a product strategist to your team. Even if you’re mid-development, they can help optimize your strategy so you get the best version of your product possible.
One tried and true method that is used is by asking the three questions: Where are we now, where are we going, and how can we get there?
With contributions from Babken Ghorukhchyan, Flux Technologies’ Product Strategist.