How Product Vision can improve your work environment

Product Vision is a powerful tool to use to spread alignment and agreement around the whole product community

Product Vision can be used also as a leadership tool to motivate people who work with you and help them to achieve the common goal of product success but also to create a wonderful work environment where everyone is happy to contribute with their work.

These are some tips about how we, as Product Owner or Project Manager, can make our workplace a better place!

Share the Product Vision as much as possible.

This is the first one, the more important.

Summarise the product vision in a short elevator pitch that we can use in every discussion to align the people you talk to.

Map all the user story and the epics that we craft with the development team to the product vision and create artefacts like power point presentations or such about our tactics to get the vision out in the real world.

If we are good enough at this job we can start using the vision as a leadership tool, to get the things done, by using these simple yet powerful attitudes.

Ask why and explain why

For every development activity. Ask “why?” to your stakeholders and relate their answers to the product vision. Do they fit? Yes? Awesome! And if they don’t fit ask why.

Explain why to the development team and help to understand the impact that they are having on the company business and in the real world.

Focus on value, always

Shift your discussion from when you will release a specific feature to when you will deliver value. By doing this discussion will be focused on what really matters and conflict will be easy to resolve because you will have the common of the product vision.

Domain knowledge

Work everyday to grow you domain knowledge, inquire and investigate, talk with your stakeholders, talk with your team.

Help your team to became expert business analyst and help your stakeholders to understand the complexity of the software development process.

Know your numbers

Know your product KPIs and share them as much as possible when you talk about how your product is going.

Collect KPIs for every development activity and keep you development team and stakeholder in the loop.

Discussion and conflict are easily solved when you have the common ground of the KPIs, you will not discuss about feelings that are personal but about facts.

Team Ownership

Make your team responsible for the software not by words but by facts. Defend their ownership and let them decide how to build the product giving them all the information they need to make their decisions.

Focus discussions that you have with your stakeholders on their needs to fulfil or problems to solve not on the solution.

Challenge your team to have a technical vision about the product, to discuss and create strategies to lower the time to market and increase efficiency and ROI.

Be present

Live your product, be there in the product development process, understand how your stakeholders use the product.

Provide useful and relevant information to the development team and stakeholders to help them take informed decisions.

Celebrate results

Celebrate the results of the whole product community, those are their achievements not yours. Your achievement is that you successfully helped them to get the things done.

Every demo is a party where you celebrate the development team accomplishment but also where you celebrate the business results, the team shows the new developments but also let stakeholders show what they have accomplished with the previous developments.

Highlights problems

As well as you celebrate results, don’t be afraid to highlight problems.

Do not look for faults, create an environment where everyone is comfortable in highlight problems and work together to understand a solution.

Ask feedback

Ask frequently feedback to the people you work with. Use those feedback to improve your way of working and show how your value others feedback.

This will create an environment where everyone is comfortable in receiving feedback and work to improve their way of working.

Connect with people

Build personal relationship with the people you work with.

Be interested in their life out of the office because, by doing this, you will discover that you work with amazing and interesting people.

Knowing each other better will help you to understand better their motivation and creates an environment where you love to work because you have awesome colleague and you will have a lot of fun.

You can start using the product vision as a leadership tool today and, if you do it right, you will do the best thing that you can do on your job:

create an environment where everyone can lead and transform followers into leaders.