Product Vision In Scrum

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StarAgile

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Apr 15, 2024

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Understanding the "what" and "why" of a product is crucial for Scrum. It establishes the intended state and function and acts as a compass for the Scrum team. The aims, value, and direction of the product are outlined in the product vision, guaranteeing alignment with consumer demands and corporate goals. It is essential for establishing specific goals and guiding the development process. The Scrum team receives clarity, direction, and drive to develop a valuable product with a well defined product vision. The main question arises here is “What is product vision?” and “The importance ofproduct vision in scrum”. These two questions will be clarified by the end of the blog.

Engineering teams expend a lot of effort creating technically excellent software products with the goals of creating bug-free, scalable, dependable, and secure solutions. Teams must, however, have faith in their ability to create the right product in addition to these efforts. To do this, one must develop a carefully thought-out product vision, visualising the ideal future situation that satisfies consumer wants and is in line with the organization's product strategy. The teams constantly consult and refer to the product vision as a guiding principle, which directs them towards developing a product that is not only useful and intended, but also addresses consumer needs and adds significant value.

Components of a Product Vision 

To build a successful software product, it is crucial to have a meticulously crafted and effectively communicated product vision that includes key components:

  Components Description
Purpose and Intent

Answers the why behind product development and highlights the value it provides to customers by addressing their problems.

Target Market

Defines the specific customer or market segment that the product is intended to serve.

Business Goals

Ensures alignment with the organization's overall strategy and market objectives, allowing the product to seamlessly integrate into the product portfolio.

Differentiating Factors

Highlights the unique features and qualities that differentiate the product from its competitors.

 

A product frequently fails to materialise or serve its intended function for clients when it fails to justify any of the aforementioned components.

Creating the Product Vision 

The Product Management Group or Business Group is primarily responsible for establishing, expressing, and fostering the vision, while all parties connected with the product are encouraged to contribute to its development. 
Stakeholders from the business, engineering, marketing, sales, support, and training departments participate in a workshop to define the vision. During the workshop, methods including brainstorming, affinity grouping, and dot voting are used to collectively create the ultimate Product Vision. In order to guarantee that they are well-prepared and capable of contributing successfully to the process, participants are given market research information about target consumers, rivals, and personas prior to the workshop.

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Product Vision Formats 

Roman Pichler, a renowned authority on product management, has recommended the Product Vision board as having great value.

product vision format

An essential template has become well-known in the management consulting and writing industries after being first introduced in Geoffrey Moore's book "Crossing the Chasm."

Crossing the Chasm

Communicating the Product Vision

Effective and persistent communication with all key stakeholders, including senior leadership, engineering teams, sales, marketing, documentation, training, and support, is essential to realising a spectacular product vision. Prior to starting product development, it is the Head of the Business, such as the Director of Product Management, who has the duty to explain and clarify the Product Vision to the entire organisation. This usually happens during a Kickstart All-Hands meeting, where the new Product Vision is presented and the product roadmap and strategy for the following quarter or release are communicated. The Head of Business must convey the same information to all interested parties simultaneously.
The purpose of this All-Hands meeting is to deliver updates to the product vision, strategy, and roadmap for the upcoming term at regular intervals (quarterly or each release). The heads of engineering also make plans that are in line with the goals of the product during these sessions. Additionally, when working with Scrum Teams, Product Managers and Owners should continually refer to and take inspiration from the vision. Scrum Teams must link requirements back to the overarching vision as they are prioritised and distilled into epics and user stories.

Changes in the Product Vision

Can a Product Vision remain constant throughout time? No, such a strategy would run counter to the Agile Principles' core values, which include constant feedback, accepting change, and flexibility.
Learning organisations regularly seek feedback and have a finger on the market pulse. They adapt their product vision dynamically in response to changing market conditions, rivalry, and consumer insights. These organisations are constantly under pressure to succeed quickly, but they also have the guts to change course when it's required and keep going in the correct direction. Their corporate culture is shaped by this way of thinking.
There are several instances where the organisations have successfully adopted and used this cultural approach.

Significance of Production Vision within the Scrum Teams 

A voyage without a clear end point could seem exciting, but it lacks pragmatism and is not always successful. R&D engineers have a wealth of creativity to produce perfect and aesthetically pleasing goods. But the underlying query is: Do these goods actually meet consumer demands?

Understanding the wider goal: Scrum teams must be able to articulate the bigger picture behind their daily work, including who it is designed for, why it was created, and most crucially, the underlying motivations. Product Owners represent the Product Vision during Backlog Grooming meetings, helping teams hone user stories with the end goal in mind. It becomes essential to constantly check your assumptions and ask yourself questions such, "Are we effectively addressing customer problems?" Are we providing value? Are we making the proper kind of product?

  • Contribute in Product Strategy and Roadmap - When Scrum teams have a thorough knowledge of the product vision, they may contribute significantly to the product strategy and roadmap.
  • Understanding the Priorities - The team can align with the Product Owner's priorities when they have a firm understanding of the product vision. The Product Owner and the teams may optimise the process of refining user stories by using the product vision during Sprint Planning and Backlog refinement sessions.
  • Influence in Sprint Execution - Writing stories, refining them, defining acceptance criteria, coding them, and testing them all need a constant knowledge of the product vision. Teams may concentrate on producing "just enough" without getting sucked into the trap of over-engineering or adding pointless requirements if they have a thorough awareness of the difficulties faced by customers and the target market. Unwanted code should be carefully avoided as it might result in inefficient testing, defects, and related difficulties.

Knowing the intended audience, target market, goal, and issues to be solved is essential for many areas of product development.

First off, it aids in the improvement and writing of Epics and User Stories by teams. Teams may provide more accurate and effective narratives, ensuring that the product complies with client criteria, by having a better grasp of the consumers and their demands.

Second, this information aids in the identification of the acceptance criteria that are "Must Have" and "Good to Have." Teams are able to distinguish between necessary and desirable criteria, giving priority to what matters most to clients and concentrating their efforts in that direction.

Additionally, teams are able to construct and create better solutions when they are aware of the target consumer or market. . Teams may develop architecture and designs that are in line with the product vision by taking into account the current priorities and the next roadmap, leading to more efficient and scalable solutions.

  • Collaboration - A common project Vision improves collaboration across many teams working together on a project and serves as a useful guide for handling dependencies and disputes. It encourages productive teamwork, makes it easier to resolve disputes, and assures team alignment, all of which contribute to a smooth and effective product development process.
  • Alignment with the Organization’s Goals -  The Product Vision's compatibility with the organization's overarching strategy, which matters to every employee, is another key factor. Employees that are engaged are innately interested in how the product they contribute to fits with the objectives of the company. It instills a sense of pride and confidence in their efforts to know that their work helps advance the organization's goals. Through this alignment, the workers, the product, and the overall objectives of the company are strongly connected.
  • Adapting to Changes in the Product Vision - Any changes to the Product Vision must be frequently communicated, especially to the Scrum teams in responsibility of creating it. Equally important is making sure they understand why adjustments have been made. When teams completely comprehend and accept the enhanced vision, they can work together and align themselves more effectively. The Product Vision must successfully evolve with the participation of all stakeholders.

Also Read: What Is Product RoadMap?

Tips for your Product Vision:

Encourage participation from a variety of stakeholders in the Product Vision workshop and carry out detailed market research beforehand. Effectively communicate the concept via a variety of platforms and committed advocates. Always ask for input, be flexible, and be open to changing course. Give the "What" and "Why" elements more weight than the "How" and "When."

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Summary

A key element of Scrum, the Product Vision directs the effective creation of a product. It serves as the overarching goal that directs the Scrum Team's daily activity. For the team to stay linked with the bigger purpose and translate it into a concrete product that satisfies client expectations, effective communication and ongoing updates regarding the vision are crucial. Consider signing up for StarAgile's Scrum Product Owner certification (CSPO) training to improve your product ownership skills and connect with the product vision. People who complete this certification programme will have the abilities to lead agile teams, thrive at product ownership, and provide worthwhile results. Elevate your expertise as a certified scrum product owner through StarAgile's comprehensive CSPO course. Certified scrum product owner will help you to attract better companies and stand out in front of other competitors too.

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