How to Chart out a Compelling Product Strategy
“Inspiration is a wonderful gift to a product analyst—when it strikes. But like lightning (one of the few other things that ‘strikes’), it’s difficult to know when, where, or how frequently inspiration will shower its gifts upon you. And because inspiration—or the lightbulb moment, or whatever you want to call it—makes a terribly unpredictable partner, you can’t count on it as the sole source of your product strategy. Yes, you could sit around waiting for the next Facebook-sized idea to hit you. But truthfully, you’re about as likely to be struck by lightning!”
These words by Andre Theus, VP Marketing (ProductPlan), hold true for all product marketers today.
If you’re a business analyst responsible to outline a compelling product strategy, you need a plan. Not a formula to yield a boring, uninspiring product but a defined approach to developing a winning Product Strategy to clear your path for inspiration to strike. During one of our recent stand up meets, we got a chance to deliberate upon a question.
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What Goes into A Product Strategy?
If you’ve defined what you want to accomplish (vision), the roadmap to measure it (objectives), and the plans to get there (tactics), isn’t this radically your compelling product strategy?
A vision is the prerequisite for choosing the right strategy. If you don’t have an overarching goal, then you cannot know how to best get what you expect. This is nicely illustrated by the famous conversation between the Cheshire Cat and Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Asked which way Alice should take, the cat replies: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where –,” says Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” responds the Cheshire Cat.
Your objectives should be the roadmap of your product strategy. Your objectives should articulate your product vision. As a Product Owner, you act as a north star that tells the team at every point how the product vision and roadmap should be headed.
- Focus on the functionality, releases, sprints and milestones.
- Facilitate discussion on reusability of any existing code snippets, components or any artefact that will expedite your development process.
- Engage stakeholders via MoM to confirm their approval on various tasks and implementations.
- Implement a Requirements Traceability Matric (RTM) to align to your vision and your product strategy.
- Add value by crossing an extra mile to guide your client towards a better approach or providing an out of the box functionality.
- Include as much transparency as possible in your engineering roadmaps. Even though your developers will be focused less on product vision and revenue potential, it is a smart practice to include relevant milestones and requirements the other departments are facing, so your developers understand your specific deadlines and requirements.
The world will never stand still! The market trends keep on changing and new technologies emerge. Therefore, it is important to regularly assess your strategy.
A good Business Analyst should know that the overall purpose of their kickass strategy is to help their company achieve business/corporate goals.
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Review: Revise your product performance using the relevant key performance indicators (KPIs), ask yourself:
- Do the metrics show a positive, flat, or negative trend?
- What conclusions can you draw from your analysis?
- What would help your product excel?
Market Trend Analysis: Dig in market trends, ask yourself:
- Is there any new technology, compliance, or social developments, for example, machine learning or artificial intelligence, GDPR?
- Do they impact your product development, quality, delivery?
- Do they offer an opportunity to innovate, add, remove, or enhance features, or create a brand-new product all together?
Closed environment Monitoring: Follow developments within various internal teams, ask yourself:
- Any internal changes to the business strategy by a specific team?
- And if so, what are the consequences for your product?
- Are important stakeholders less engaged?
- Is their interest and support flagging?
Hence charting the roadmap of your ultimate strategy comes handy:
Draw your canvas board picking up each of these titles and define your path towards YOUR winning product strategy.
At TA Digital, as part of the BA practice, we work as a digital strategists to become the drivers of any project or a new product building. We promote a seamless client experience by delivering our services through an ideal and ingenious product strategy.
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