In part one of this series on using a product vision to drive digital transformation, we explored key challenges with “big-picture” transformation initiatives and highlighted the role of a product vision as the missing link between high-level strategic goals and successful digital product delivery. If you haven’t already, read the first blog on using a product vision to drive digital transformation.
In this final blog of the series, we outline the key components of a product vision and how it can enable teams to effectively define the priorities of day-to-day decision-making for long-term success.
Follow the steps outlined below to define an effective product vision:
Delivering cohesive experiences relies on knowing who the experiences are being created for. There will always be multiple user groups, so it is important to define and prioritise our primary audiences. This allows teams to focus on 1-2 target audiences, ensuring the right personas are being considered without competing personas or generalisations.
By focusing on a specific audience with a narrow set of needs, organisations can define a more precise set of customer scenarios or journeys to transform.
Next, define a set of experience principles by asking: what do you want your priority audience to experience? Research each principle to ensure they are specific and evidence-based. These should be tangible principles that you can test to see if a decision is moving you towards or away from the experience.
As an example, “simple” should not be used as an experience principle. Simplicity is subjective. Your team can debate whether a change makes an experience simpler or not, but that won’t tell you what your priority audience thinks.
A useful way to test experience principles is through experience measures. Create a plan for how you will first baseline and then continue to measure those attributes as an experience. Utilise measures like NPS, customer interviews, time on page and click-throughs, or track whether people follow an intended conversion path. For a product vision to be tangible, the change it creates for customers must also be measurable.
Vision stories represent a range of different artefacts that can be combined to tell the story of the ideal future state experience for customers alongside key flows and features. These artefacts are commonly used within projects and include tools like interactive prototypes, storyboards, customer journey maps and service blueprints.
Teams need to continually draw on their vision story to maintain alignment on a transformation journey. The vision story will operate as a beacon for teams to follow, help stakeholders empathise with priority audiences, and contextualise customer needs throughout the product journey. A strong vision story enables teams to move forward with a clear sense of purpose.
Discover how ClearPoint can help your designs come to life with interactive prototypes and clear feature roadmaps that offer stakeholders and internal team members a tangible pathway to market.
To enable meaningful progress, a product vision must have a tangible connection to your delivery model. An action plan helps teams identify where they are on the journey, and which phases have been completed and which are yet to come. It also sets out an approach that breaks down a large transformational challenge into a series of smaller and achievable deliveries of value.
Instead of defining progress in terms of technical outputs, you can reference sections of valuable customer experience. Your action plan should answer the question: “How are we going to incrementally offer value to customers without having to deliver everything at once?” Your answers will help teams understand when they are on course and what to prioritise in day-to-day decision-making.
Bringing it together
Together, these components create a set of artefacts that bring the vision together, guide meaningful progress and align teams on what experience factors should be prioritised in decision-making.
A product vision only has value to the degree to which it’s incorporated at the centre of your delivery process – this means making it front and centre. For example, organisations can find success in printing out the necessary artefacts and putting them around the office to keep the story of this future customer experience top of mind.
By aligning on this common purpose, organisations can ensure teams remain focused on larger strategic objectives rather than getting lost in the daily demands of work. This sense of purpose and shared understanding is critical to achieving sustained success and big-picture transformation.
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