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Product Alignment Framework: How Miro navigated explosive growth to 20 million users
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Product Alignment Framework: How Miro navigated explosive growth to 20 million users

A tool for structured product discovery and retrospectives strong enough for high-growth startups.
In the last 15 months, we have grown
from 3 million to 20 million users, while our company’s headcount has tripled from 300 to 900 employees. With this explosive growth, we found ourselves faced with several challenges around scaling our product discovery and decision-making engine.

Shortly after I joined Miro – back in early 2020 – I spent some time researching, crafting, and introducing a standard approach for conducting product discoveries and retrospectives (retro). We call this approach the
Product Alignment Framework
, and it is currently being used across all product teams at Miro.
Miro Product Alignment.jpg
The Product Alignment Framework consists of a Product Alignment Document (PAD) and a Product Alignment Meeting (PAM). The PAM is where the content of the PAD will be presented by teams and challenged by peers and stakeholders. I’ve included templates for both:
and
.

Before continuing, go ahead and grab a copy of this doc to start using Miro’s product alignment framework with your own team.

Copy this doc

A PAD is where the results of product discoveries and product retros are documented. This document consists of three different sections that get completed during the product lifecycle – from discovery to launch:
Problem/opportunity framing
Solution framing
Post-launch recap

Problem/opportunity framing

Every product development process starts with either a problem to solve or an opportunity to capture. During this stage, product teams clarify what the problem or opportunity is, who the target audience is, why we are solving this problem and why now, what success metrics are, and how competitors may have solved this problem (e.g., if it leads to neutralizing competition).

At this stage, the product team explores a few potential solution directions
without
going into detail about solution design and implementation. The goal is to consider every possible solution, so it’s best to save the details and concerns for later.
Section
Guiding Questions
1
Problem statement
What problem are we solving?
What is the opportunity that we are addressing?
2
Audience
For whom are we solving this problem?
3
Rationale
How do we know this is the right problem to solve? Why this opportunity and not others?
Does this relate to current OKRs and if yes, which ones? Or is this a proposal for future OKRs (based on business strategy)?
Will this neutralize competition? Differentiate Miro? Delight prospective users?
Any links to customer research, conversations, or observation from data?
4
Success metrics
How do we know if we solved this problem?
5
Competitive research: (if neutralizing
competition)
How did others capture this opportunity / solve this problem?
6
Potential solution directions
What are some high-level solution directions to explore to capture this opportunity / solve this problem?
Describe potential solutions through short descriptions or high-level sketches / low-fi prototypes (no implementation details at this stage).
Compare the high-level solution directions (e.g. through impact vs. complexity using high-level T-shirt sizing estimates in days, weeks, months).
There are no rows in this table

At this stage, it’s often helpful to include visuals like Miro boards, screenshots, or sketches to help all the stakeholders understand the nuances of the problem you want to solve.

My suggestion - embed a Miro board by typing
/Miro
anywhere in the doc:


Solution framing

During this stage, the team chooses the most viable solution and goes deep on solution discovery. Discussions should focus on what the solution is and the scope of it, why proposed solutions were rejected, dependencies, risks and mitigating factors, and the GTM (go-to-market) plan and strategy.
Section
Guiding Questions
1
Proposed solution
What is the scope of the proposed solution?
What are the key features?
How difficult will it be to realize the solution?
2
Why proposed solutions were rejected
Provide context for why this solution was chosen over the others.
Include links to user research, customer data, etc.
3
Out of scope
What is not in the scope of the proposed solution?
4
Dependencies, risks, and mitigating factors
What are the dependencies?
What are the risks associated with the solution (e.g. compliance, legal, privacy, security, strategic risk, operational, infrastructure stability/scaling risk, etc.) and the mitigating factors?
5
GTM strategy
What is the release plan? List the key milestones (e.g. dev complete, alpha, beta, general accessibility, etc.).
What is the marketing and operational support needed for this launch?
What are the pricing and packaging strategies?
There are no rows in this table

We’ve found that
simply listing dependencies and risks
can drive meaningful discussion and surface potential obstacles well in advance:

Add a known risk
Risk
Severity
Mitigation
1
Compliance
Red
Blocked
2
Legal
Yellow
Work around
3
Privacy
Green
N/A
No results from filter

Post-launch recap

Once the product is launched and the experiment outcomes are analyzed, the team reflects on whether they achieved their objectives and what they learned that could be of benefit to themselves and other teams.
Section
Guiding Questions
1
Success reflection
How successful were we in achieving our goals (relative to our success metrics)?
2
Lessons
What have we learned? How will this help us improve?
There are no rows in this table

When the objectives are not achieved, teams often go back to experimenting with other approaches until they reach their desired outcome. In some cases, newly uncovered insights might lead to fundamental changes to their solution or even to the problem framing.

This is why PADs matter

A few benefits of a PAD are:
Working on the right problem or opportunity at the right time:
For any product team at any given time, there are a wide range of problems to solve or opportunities to pursue. The questions in the PAD help teams focus on pursuing the most strategically advantageous problem or opportunity at all times.
Stepping back and considering different options:
It is tempting to choose the most obvious solution for solving a problem or opportunity to capture. At Miro, the explosive growth created an intense time pressure to produce a solution – any solution – but taking some time early on generally always pays off down the road. The PAD questions around solutions and opportunities help make the most of this time, by ensuring that teams consider a variety of options before pursuing one.
Structured product discovery across the whole organization:
With our explosive growth, we have been onboarding new PMs every month - if not every week. The PAD template acts as a coach for both existing and new PMs, walking them through all of the elements of product discovery and retro that matter to our business.

👉 Try it yourself:

In this meeting, the team presents the content of a PAD whenever each section is completed. Whether presenting the problem/opportunity or the solution framing, the objectives here are to prompt challenges, receive feedback from peers and stakeholders, and get buy-in from sponsors. For the post-launch recap presentation, the aim is to reflect on the launch and share lessons across teams.

How we run PAMs at Miro

We hold PAMs weekly and invite the entire product guild (i.e., PMs, Product Leads, Heads of Products). Even our CEO is on the list of those invited and he frequently attends the meeting. The required attendees for these meetings are the members of the team presenting the PAD, their sponsors, and their stakeholders. Stakeholders are other teams that have some connection to the PAD being discussed (e.g., the teams responsible for resolving the project's dependencies). Sponsors are typically members of the leadership team (e.g., product, engineering and design) for this specific product area.

Unlike many meetings where the participants listen passively to a presentation, PAMs are
active
- where participants ask clarifying questions, challenge decisions, and provide feedback. You can leverage this
to gather honest opinions from everyone in the room while avoiding groupthink.

One of the tools in the PAM template is a Q&A moderator, which ensures the most important topics are discussed during the meeting.

Add a topic
Question
Author
Upvote
Downvote
1
Can you clarify the GTM strategy?
PR
4
1
2
Are we planning on A/B testing this feature?
JB
3
1
3
Which OKR does this relate to?
JD
2
There are no rows in this table

Another tool you can use during a PAM is a private pulse check. Once everyone has added their sentiment, you can reveal the results and talk about differing opinions:

Check to show everyone's sentiment (
3
submitted with average sentiment of
2.67
)

Add Your Sentiment
Sentiment
Reflection
Submitted by
1
We’re making great progress on the magic show staging.
PR
Polly Rose
2
Are we all hands on deck?
JB
James Booth
3
I found a really great pair of gloves we can send to attendees.
JD
Joel Davis
There are no rows in this table

Outcome of PAMs

From the sponsors of the PAD, there are four possible outcomes:
Looks great, please proceed
Approved, please account for recommended course corrections
Directionally OK, but please follow up before proceeding
Not approved, additional work required

You can capture the consensus at the end of the meeting with a simple dropdown and sign-off reaction. By asking each sponsor to explicitly sign off on the outcome of the meeting, you eliminate ambiguity on next steps.

Consensus:
Conditionally approved

Agree
FS
FM
LT
JH
Disagree
PR

This is why PAMs matter

A few benefits of a PAM are:
Teams get challenged and receive feedback from their peers and leadership on their product discoveries.
Teams get early feedback and buy-in from sponsors on the direction they are taking, avoiding wasted time on opportunities or problems that are not considered strategically advantageous.
The whole product guild stays up to date with the newest product developments, especially those that they may not otherwise come in contact with or hear about during their work. This can foster cross-pollination, new ideas being born, and older ideas being revived.
Teams improve their writing, presentation, and storytelling skills.
The product organization strengthens its product management skills as its team members are exposed to product challenges from across the organization and to what product teams have done in response to them.
Post-launch lessons are shared across teams to promote collective knowledge and growth and to prevent teams from repeating mistakes.

👉 Try it yourself:
Finally, If you decide to use this approach at your company, please make sure to personalize it to suit your own needs. While there are many good templates available, I designed this PAD template so that it could be shaped and reshaped to meet your organization’s evolving needs.

I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to reach out on
or
to send me your thoughts and feedback and share your experiences in rolling this out at your company.


A huge round of thanks to Anna Boyarkina, Andrey Khusid, Anton Zhvakin, Olga Stepanova, Sarah Deacon, Thor Mitchell and Victoria Butsich for their contribution to the framework and all Mironeers for adopting and evolving the approach. A big thanks to the following folks for reviewing and contributing to this doc: Eduardo Gomez, Eric Stallman, Himali Tadwalkar, Joanna Smith, John Cutler, Justin Hales, and Iris Latour.

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