Mar 01, 2021
Product design leadership — Setting direction
If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.
When your team wants to double revenue, that’s a business objective.
Your roadmap is your tactic.
But where is your team heading to? What’s your product’s purpose for the customer?
Design leaders have to collaborate working with the other leaders to continue thinking about this. Get more knowledge through product discovery to learn about the problem space.
One of the ways to set a direction is by having a product vision. It describes the future we’re aiming for, which helps people understand where you’re going and why. Most importantly, how we are going to improve the lives of our customers. It also what keeps people motivated and excited because we do something for a good cause.
For example, when CEO Jan Carlzon articulated his vision to make Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) the best airline in the world for frequent business travelers. It’s because business travelers fly more consistently than other market segments and are generally willing to pay higher fares. Therefore, focusing on business customers gives the possibility of high margins and steady growth. It aligns with the people in the company.
It doesn’t have to be innovative. It can be obvious. But it should be a mystical dream as well.
What’s the purpose of your product? Who are you serving? What are their unmet needs that your product will serve?
Without a product vision, your team won’t have clarity. I’ve worked in both situations. The clarity of what we’re going to do is so different. At the same time, it helps the team to understand what not to do. This is very important as the company grows bigger, where people tend to do everything. As Steve Jobs put it, “Focus is about saying no.”
In the next post, we’ll talk about focus.