I designed the product vision board to be a simple yet effective tool to capture the product vision and the product strategy. Despite its simplicity, it’s not always easy to effectively apply it. This article introduces a checklist to help you get the most out of the tool.
The product vision board offers five sections. The vision captures the ultimate purpose for offering a product. The target group characterises the product’s users and customers. The needs describe the problem the product should address or the benefit it should offer. The product section states its standout features. The business goals capture the desired benefits the product should achieve for the company developing and providing it.
The checklist below states criteria to get the five elements of the product vision board right. Additionally, it offers criteria that apply to the entire board or its bottom sections. You can download the checklist together with the product vision board template for free from my website.
If you are new to the product vision board, then I recommend that you read the article The Product Vision Board or watch my YouTube video called Product Vision Board Introduction before you use the checklist.
Inspiring: Describes the positive change the product should create.
Shared: Unites people, creates alignment, and facilitates collaboration.
Ethical: Gives rise to a product that does not cause any harm to people and the planet.
Concise: Easy to understand and remember.
Ambitious: Describes a big, audacious goal that might never be fully reached.
Enduring: Provides guidance for the next five to ten years and is free from assumptions about the solution.
Clear: Use relevant qualities like demographics and behavioural attributes to characterise the target group.
Specific: You can tell if somebody is included in the target group or not.
Cohesive: The members of a target group share similar attributes, e.g., age, lifestyle, disposable income. If that’s not the case, then break up the target group and form several subgroups, for example, a user and a customer one.
Outcome-based: Capture the reason why people would want to use the product. Describe what success looks like from the perspectives of the users and customers.
Specific: The needs are detailed enough so that you can validate them.
Focused: Concentrate on the main problem/benefit, the main reason for people to use the product.
Prioritised: If you do identify several needs, prioritise them according to their importance for the target group.
Type: It’s clear what kind of product you want to offer, for example, mobile app on Android and iOS.
Differentiated: The aspects of your product that make it stand out, set it apart from alternative offerings are stated.
Focused: There are no more than five standout features.
Big: The features are coarse-grained product capabilities; no epics and user stories!
Outcome-based: The desired business benefits, the company’s reason for investing in the product, are clearly described, for example, revenue, brand equity, cost savings.
Specific: The business goals are detailed; state rough targets if possible.
Prioritised: If more than one business goal is identified; order according to business impact.
Needs-first: Start with the needs after you’ve captured the vision especially when you create a new strategy — be it for a brand-new product or for an existing one. An example for the latter would be a life cycle extension, for instance, by addressing a new market.
Validated: The strategy captured on the product vision board does not contain any major hypotheses and risks. It has been successfully validated, for instance, by interviewing and observing target users, building throwaway prototypes, and carrying out competitive analysis.
Adaptive: The product vision board is regularly inspected and adapted, at least once every three months as a rule of thumb.
Shared: The key stakeholders and development team members have a shared understanding of the product vision board contents and support the decisions captured on it. A great way to achieve this is to involve them in visioning and strategizing work.