I am in charge of outlining the product’s vision, strategy, and roadmap to a select group of key stakeholders as well as the rest of the technical and product team in my new organization.
I want people to understand why this is being constructed, what market we will target, and how each person fits into the bigger picture because we are creating something unique.
I’ve done this before for a smaller group, but I’m curious about your suggestions on how to deliver this to a crowd of 50 to 100 people.
Ranging from fresh engineers to corporate executives.
Your opinions and recommendations shall be greatly appreciated.
To present a product vision and strategy for stakeholder and team buy-in:
- Start with the problem you are trying to solve: Clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve and why it matters to your stakeholders.
- Articulate the vision: Clearly state the overall product vision, what the future will look like, and what you hope to achieve.
- Define the strategy: Outline the steps you will take to achieve the vision, including key milestones and the allocation of resources.
- Align with stakeholder goals: Ensure that your vision and strategy align with the goals of your stakeholders and address their concerns.
- Involve the team: Get input and buy-in from your team, and ensure that they understand the vision and strategy and their role in achieving it.
- Communicate regularly: Regular communication is key to keeping everyone aligned and on track. Set up regular check-ins and updates to keep stakeholders and the team informed.
- Demonstrate progress: Show the team and stakeholders how their efforts are contributing to the vision, and celebrate successes along the way.
Use Product Canvas if you can. You can find several nice templates if you Google that. With new products, I always start there.
Additionally, incorporate some storytelling to help everyone buy into and share the goal. Give your target market a persona. Describe how the objective will help people in their everyday lives. Introduce the roadmap for how you would create this product before moving on to how you would extend and leverage the groundwork you had already established to address issues for potential future markets.
In contrast to wanting to sell a product, I prefer the perspective of wanting to address a real-world problem.
I experienced similar circumstances. It’s preferable to approach this problem piecemeal. We use a similar procedure to develop offers for various target client groups.
Consider that you need to create distinct landing pages for each of your various client kinds. Who are these individuals, exactly? What dreams do they have? Why are they afraid? What difficulties do they encounter? They meet them in what way?
Therefore, doing some interviews with your team members would be fantastic.
Find people from each team who you think could be able to help you promote your product vision. Typically, we are discussing team captains. Discuss with them. Learn what they think about certain issues.
Next, construct various presentations for each group, including those for engineers, designers, project managers, etc. Start with the team captains. So gradually broaden the audience to whom you are conveying your vision.
In other words, that is merely another task in product management. But your vision is the end result.
Basically, this is what I was going to say.
Only the culmination of numerous smaller meetings and 1:1s with the key stakeholders and team leaders can be a presentation to 50–100 people.
Nothing during this culminating event should be a surprise to anyone who matters to the success of the new product launch.
When I’ve done this, the CEO has opened the meeting while other speakers have given other segments. For something involving so many people, I would anticipate preparation taking between three and six months before to the event (obviously, there are many factors to consider).
It’s crucial to adapt your story to the needs of various teams. The engineering team will need to see things from the sales team’s point of view. A single big-bang presentation and a call to wrap things up will inevitably result in everyone losing interest.
Agree with you. A Product Canvas is a visual tool that helps to articulate a product vision and strategy. To present a product vision and strategy using a Product Canvas:
- Start by filling out the problem/opportunity statement: Clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve and why it matters to your stakeholders.
- Define the target customer segments: Identify the target customer segments for the product, including their needs, pain points, and behaviors.
- Outline the solution: Identify the key features and functions of the product that will solve the problem for the target customer segments.
- Identify the key metrics: Determine the key metrics that will measure the success of the product, such as customer satisfaction, adoption rate, and revenue.
- Define the unique value proposition: Articulate what makes your product unique and why it is better than alternatives.
- Outline the revenue streams: Identify how the product will generate revenue, including pricing strategies and potential partnerships.
- Identify the key activities and resources: Determine the key activities and resources needed to bring the product to market, including team members, technology, and budget.
By using a Product Canvas, you can clearly articulate the problem, solution, target customer segments, key metrics, unique value proposition, revenue streams, and key activities and resources for your product. This will help you to effectively communicate your vision and strategy to stakeholders and your team, and gain buy-in.
Involving stakeholders in the process is an effective way to get buy-in. A one-pager is a simple, concise document that summarizes key information about your product vision and strategy.
Here’s how you can create a one-pager for your product vision and strategy:
- Problem statement: Clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve, including who it affects and why it is important.
- Target users: Identify the target user segments for the product, including their needs, pain points, and behaviors.
- Data to back up the problem: Provide data to support the existence of the problem and why it needs to be addressed.
- KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Identify the key metrics that will measure the success of the product, such as customer satisfaction, adoption rate, and revenue.
- Strategy: Outline the steps you will take to solve the problem, including key milestones and the allocation of resources.
- Risks: Identify the potential risks associated with the product and how you plan to mitigate them.
By creating a one-pager, you can effectively communicate your product vision and strategy in a concise and easily digestible format. This will help you to gain buy-in from stakeholders and ensure that everyone is aligned and on the same page.
Review this with each group of stakeholders (I don’t suggest doing it in one big meeting). Get their feedback. Answer their questions. Describe your process and schedule time to follow up with regular check-ins.
After your get everyone on the same page and bought in, that’s when you work with your execution teams to parse out your roadmap. What’s feasible within a quarter? How can you show progress?
Then work with your commercial leaders in a go to market plan (once you’ve made progress with development).
The process itself isn’t difficult, it’s getting everyone to share the common language and understanding. I’ve found success in this ONLY when I’ve included stakeholders in every single bit of the process.
As an early product manager, I am unable to offer any advice regarding the types of works you should produce to bolster your arguments, but I still felt the need to weigh in.
Knowing my audience has always been helpful to me as a past consultant when discussing roadmaps and strategy with clients. For instance, I would make sure to pay greater attention to the figures and data / computations that went into my assumptions if I were presenting a planned effort for funding and meeting with Finance.
Speaking in a language that your audience can understand can be helpful. Empathy is a very useful skill to have when working in a cross-functional capacity because every business unit you communicate with could have a distinct way of thinking.
Good luck with your initiative! That opportunity seems quite intriguing.
The biggest recommendation I have in presenting to make sure to to set the playing field before you get to the vision and strategy bit. It’s very important to get everyone on the same page about where the company stands and what the challenges and problems are that you will be presenting solutions, vision and strategy to address.
From there, set a clear goal that can be summed up in two sentences. If you’re presenting a deck, put that goal on its own slide. It can be before or after the part that you present the problem. I like to keep it at the top as a kind of North Star.
It’s been second nature to me because I came from a film/storytelling background, and I try to teach everyone on my team to tell a story when presenting. There should be an arc that shows where you are today, the journey you’ll be taking and where you intend to be in the future.
The two sentence thing in screenwriting is called the elevator pitch. Essentially, you workshop and whittle down a 2 sentence summary of what the story is to the point where every word used has a purpose. The term ‘elevator pitch’ was essentially used in case you ever ended up in an elevator with a studio executive and you had 10 seconds to pitch an idea to them. It’s a pretty useful thing to have in product, in case you ever need to quickly, concisely and effectively communicate what you’re doing to someone new.
It’s always been helpful to me, and I hope it is for you as well!
@MichaelYoffe, Yes, I have a sense from talking to several junior engineers that they have no idea why the company decided to build this product or go in this direction. I’m going to spend the first few minutes just explaining why we are building a solution for a significant problem that the industry faces
The presentation is the final step once you’ve mastered your facts.
Do you have a personas map?
Do you have a portfolio view of your product lines and features? Can you show how relative performance of products and features suggests how the company can prioritize these competing interests, and what gaps in the portfolio should be filled because these represent the most viable opportunities for new markets, increased revenue, and other business objectives.
There isn’t one way to do this, but I do urge my teams to keep in mind who the audience is. In most cases, simple is better.
In fact, I don’t want to see a product brief or some elaborate document.
I ask them for a one pager. If with a single page you can convince me of the value of this thing we have something worth looking into.
That would mean that having a very clear problem outline, hypotheses, value statements, ROI, all clearly and simply stated are essential.
The easiest way to convince anyone of doing anything is the inherent value that it will provide. If someone perceives there’s value in it for them or other people the barriers come down quicker. People rally around that easier.
Also, pet peeve of mine, walls of text. Use visuals. Use videos. Use anything other than walls of text or billet points to try to sell this thing.
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