UX designers working on project


Wonder what successful companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook have in common? Well, they may have a lot in common in reality. But one thing’s for sure. They all have successful products that customers use and patronize. So much so that their products are global household names. Coming up with amazing products takes a lot of research and testing. And if we ask the founders of these great tech companies, we would learn that getting to a successful product means knowing what needs and problems are solved by the product. While a product’s success depends on many factors, the majority of it depends on whether your product satisfies a viable need. No matter how futuristic, well-packaged, or snazzy your product is, it won’t generate sales if your target market doesn’t think they need it. 

To get there, you need a clear vision of what your product is and where it’s headed. Who is it for and why do they need it? This is what an Agile product vision is about.

What is an Agile Product Vision Statement?

An Agile product vision statement describes why a product is made, who it’s for, and what makes it different. An Agile product vision statement provides clarity on why a product exists. It’s the overarching reason for teams to develop the product and ties all their efforts together. 

An Agile product vision statement answers the following questions:

  • What is the product?
  • Who is the primary market for the product?
  • Why does the primary market need the product?
  • What benefits will the product give its primary market?
  • What makes the product different from its competitors?

By looking at this, we can derive that an Agile product vision statement is the foundation of any product development endeavor. But we should be clear that the product vision DOES NOT specify how the product vision will be achieved. This is where the product strategy comes in. The product vision provides the what and the why. The product strategy provides the how. 

What Makes an Effective Agile Product Vision

An effective Agile vision is characterized by the following.

Aspirational

The Agile vision motivates your team to work on your vision. It clearly states why they need to build the product now and who will benefit from it. Your vision compels your teams to do their best to make the product a reality. It should also inspire your stakeholders and executives so you can solicit buy-in. Your product vision should be something everyone in your organization can rally behind. 

Directional

Your Agile vision serves as your team’s North Star. When it’s clear to them why the product should be made and what it’s supposed to achieve, decision-making becomes easier. The vision becomes shared and keeps everyone rowing in the right direction. 

Attainable

While Agile vision statements may be a bit of a stretch, they should be achievable. You and your team should believe that it’s possible to attain. If it’s not actionable, your team will find it hard to rally behind your vision. 

Customer-focused

Your Agile vision should be anchored on the needs of your target customers. If your primary market and their needs are not explicitly mentioned in your statement, then it’s not enough.

Concise

Your Agile vision must be easily understandable and can be communicated in a short amount of time. An effective Agile vision statement can be communicated in 3 sentences or even less. You don’t need charts, graphs, or any extravagant presentation to get the message across. 

Portfolio Kanban - Reduce Overburden - Improve Flow

How to Create a Compelling Agile Product Vision Statement

Crafting an Agile product vision statement takes effort and time. But with the right tools, you and your product team can do it. 

Agile Product Vision Board

This Agile product vision board will help you get all the elements of an effective and compelling product vision together.

kanban-zone-agile-product-vision-board

This Agile vision board was designed in Kanban Zone. Because of Kanban Zone’s customizable board interface, you can design your product vision board right to it. You can use horizontal and vertical containers to provide the framework for your board. 

You’ll see on this Agile vision board template, we have three steps to create an Agile product vision. 

In Step 1, you’ll get to define your product’s building blocks which brings clarity and alignment as to who you’re building the product for, why they need it, and what exactly that product is. These building blocks are:

  • Target Customers
  • Customer Problem & Needs
  • Competitors
  • Solution

We’ve set separate containers per building block. You can then create one or many Kanban cards to enumerate your answers for each element. 

Once your target market, market problem, and the solution is clear, you’ll then proceed to define your business proposition. This defines how you’re going to profit from your product or idea. You’ll define the following elements:

  • Business Model & Revenue Streams
  • Customer Benefits
  • Market Differentiators

Lastly, once you have steps 1 and 2 completed, you’re now ready to write your Agile vision statement. A Kanban Card with the product vision template format is pre-created so you can just fill in the blanks.

kanban-zone-agile-product-vision-board-step-3

This Agile product vision board is a great tool when you need to conduct a product visioning workshop with your team. It provides structure to your brainstorming activity. You can easily whip up cards to take note of your team’s ideas and inputs. 

Product Vision Template

This product vision template was taken from Geoffrey Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm, and is more commonly known as the elevator pitch. The idea is to encapsulate your entire product vision in one sentence. The template explicitly goes over the key elements that make up your product vision. 

In step 3 of our Agile vision board, we have a product vision template card that’s pre-filled with the product vision template text.

kanban-zone-agile-product-vision-statement-template

The answers you have from steps 1 and 2 of the product visioning exercise will be used as you fill out your vision statement. 

Product Vision Statement Examples

Here are some examples of Agile product vision statements using the elevator pitch format. All examples are for fictional products. 

Product

Agile Product Vision Statement

PadTop

A portable and fully touch-enabled laptop that doubles as a tablet

For the business executive 

who needs to be productive in and out of the office, 

the PadTop is a convertible tablet 

that is lightweight but powerful, and gives you full computing productivity anytime, anywhere. 

Unlike traditional laptops, 

PadTop boasts of a powerful processing speed and ample storage so you don’t need to carry any extra devices.

Resto SCM

A mobile app that enables restaurants to manage their inventory supply chain digitally

For the restaurant owner

Who needs to efficiently manage store inventory,

The Resto SCM app is a fully online platform 

That connects restaurants with suppliers so they can easily order and replenish their store inventory.

Unlike the traditional process where owners need to manage the full supply chain process fragmentally, 

Resto SCM offers an end-to-end solution from inventory planning, procurement, and delivery. 

Task+

An online task management platform

For the project manager

Who needs to manage tasks remotely

The Task+ is a fully digital project management platform

That is based on the Kanban system, allowing project managers to efficiently manage their team’s tasks and collaborate. 

Unlike other task management platforms,

Task+ has fully customizable Kanban boards that helps project managers to accurately visualize their process. 

Put Your Agile Vision to the Test

Now that you know how to create your Agile vision and write your product vision statement, it’s time to gather your team. Creating your Agile vision takes time so don’t rush things with your team. Let ideas flow freely then synthesize those ideas to a cohesive vision for your product. Our Agile product visioning board templates are here to help you get started with this exercise. Let your product vision statements guide your downstream activities such as product roadmap planning and Agile personas planning. In regular intervals, review your product vision statement and assess if they still ring true. Otherwise, adjust your product vision to let your products evolve too. 

About the Author: Lena Boiser

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Lena Boiser is an Agile enthusiast. Starting off her career as a Software Business Analyst in 2010, she eventually performed other roles including Project Manager and IT Business Manager. When she was immersed in Agile methodologies in 2014, Lena found her way through honing her craft and eventually became a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In 2017, after 7 years of working in the corporate world, Lena started her own remote consulting practice. Today, she provides project management and Scrum Product Ownership services to various businesses including software development companies, e-Commerce business owners, and small to medium sized companies. She believes that even teams working remotely can harness the benefits of Agile in order to deliver results for their companies. In her free time she likes to write. One day she could be writing about Agile, the next she could be writing anything about fashion or travel.