Much like my feeling with “product management”, product strategy is not strictly a science but more of an art. It is also probably never finished.
This document doesn’t mean you’ll have a perfect product strategy but I use it to jog my memory on all the things I need to think about.
And kudos to Ed Biden for coming up with it in the first place.
Product strategy framework
How do you sum up what your team is doing in a sentence. Why is this important?
What is the key output metric that you are trying to change? What are the leading metrics that predict this? Check that metrics are:
Intuitive - engineers can understand them
Directional - it's clear which way you want the metric to move
Stable - the metric doesn't change much unless you do something
In your control/sensitive - any changes to the metric are the result of your team's work
Measurable - we can track and report on this metric
Important - moving this metric makes a significant difference to the business
What are the areas of code that your team is responsible for?
Who are the key stakeholders involved?
[the team doing the work]
[stakeholders whose requirements need to be taken into account]
[stakeholders who need to be kept up to date]
There are no rows in this table
This should explain what the focus of the team is. We need to pick our battles based on what really matters, and we need to limit the number of major problems we’re trying to solve at once. Things to think about:
What are the key user flows?
What are the key user needs and problems?
What are the areas we are focused on?
What are the areas we are NOT focused on?
Typically this should be presented in a visual framework to aid communication. e.g.:
This should explain why we are focused on the areas above. It should draw on:
Technology (what is possible with new / existing technology)
Expertise (what is best-in-class thinking on this space, either internal or external)
Whilst it may be helpful to link to a long list of resources, the Product Strategy doc should contain the key slides / charts themselves, and be a self contained justification for the points of focus.
Speak to stakeholders
Understand company strategy
Summarise scope / metrics / domain [1: Scope]
DECISION POINT: Alignment point to agree scope
Gather all types of insight
Review with team
Synthesise key points [3: Insights]
Identify key unknowns
Identify strategy (problems to solve) in visual framework [2: Focus]
Quarterly roadmap for next 12-24 months (i.e. sequencing of areas of focus)
DECISION POINT: Alignment point to confirm focus and roadmap