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How to Create a Compelling Product Strategy

March 24, 2023

Without a clearly defined product strategy aligned with the product vision and company goals, even the best teams can succumb to chaos. The product team is pulled in different directions trying to achieve goals constantly shifting based on stakeholder and executive opinion.

 It’s essential to lay the groundwork before starting product development immediately. A strong product strategy creates an overall vision for the entire business and gives each team member tactical steps to move into the product development phase.

At Bragona Technologies, a good strategy starts with people – understanding who will use, buy, and be impacted by your product is critical to delivering value and winning customers. To help you develop your own successful user-centered product strategy, here are some tips to get you started.

Use user data to make decisions

At Bragona Technologies, we continually develop our strategies with the people who will use the product in mind, and we believe that user needs should guide every product development team. You can achieve this by developing a product strategy through the lens of user experience (UX). 

Conducting research

Research sets the company up for success by providing the information needed to decide priorities and roadmaps and then getting teams to align with what they should do and when.

To do this, you need to invest in UX research. Conducting ethnographic research, sending out surveys to your audience, and more will help your team better understand what your users hope to achieve with your product and give your product strategy the direction it needs to go. 

People are essential to any product strategy, so teams need to be clear and accurate about who they are and their goals. UX research will help your team develop user personas and journey maps that will become necessary documentation throughout the lifecycle of your product.

Ensure cross-functional team participation

To develop an effective product strategy, you must have it supported and aligned with the entire company. This includes involving the engineering and development team, sales and business development, marketing, senior management, and the design team in creating the product strategy. Also, think about how you will ensure the UX voice is in the room when management is discussing the plan. Get stakeholders and business owners to buy into UX early in the process. Having a UX design advocate in the room makes user needs a priority, which will benefit the product in the long run. 

Have a product manager

Assigning someone to the product manager role is an important first step in building a good product design strategy. The product manager is the person responsible for leading the company through the product lifecycle. They are the ones who will be responsible for developing the steps necessary for the product to reach its milestones and helping the company meet deadlines. In addition, the product manager provides broad visibility and understanding, keeping all stakeholders informed of the product’s progress and ensuring the product strategy is available to everyone involved in its development and maintenance. 

Delegating responsibility for a product strategy to one person helps keep the business accountable and makes it easier for the rest of the company to understand who to contact for updates or questions regarding product strategy.

Make it traceable and measurable

Having trackable milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success after launch gives you and your team a reason to work through the project’s life. These things will help the strategy move toward its big, ultimate goal – a successful product – and make achieving it more realistic.

Setting milestones

Milestones measure a project’s progress and are important to the success of the product strategy. They should highlight critical points in the product strategy, such as the completion of research, the creation of various design iterations, and product development milestones. Having these milestones gives your team something to work on throughout the product’s life, which isn’t as scary as the ultimate task of completing and shipping a fully functional product. It helps to break the product down into phases and smaller jobs that the team can tackle one at a time.

Assigning team members responsible for different deliverables can also help the project reach its milestones. This allows the entire team to be accountable for their part of the project, enabling them to keep track of each phase of the project. Teamwork is essential!

Refine and expand

A product strategy should be active. On the contrary, it should evolve with your products and customers. Regularly evaluate your product strategy to make sure it is accurate and up-to-date. Using research can help ensure that the direction of your strategy still makes sense for the environment in which it is located. 

Creating a roadmap

A product strategy roadmap organizes current and future user experience improvements at the feature level and prioritizes them based on their impact on the overall user experience. The roadmap sets the course for implementing the new strategy so your team can work around business, marketing, development, needs, and cost goals.

To develop and identify critical work areas where research and discussions with customers show opportunities for additional work. Some may be easily identified as within the scope, while others may be unclear or even later identified as out of scope. Include them all in a spreadsheet that outlines the project’s initial roadmap and identifies each area’s value based on your research.

Involve the client’s stakeholders through in-person or offline review by their team to indicate the business value and development effort. Finally, review the completed spreadsheet with the client to agree on the scope of work, including what is scheduled for specific design sprints, what is deferred to a later date, or what can be done by different teams.

Building a great product strategy takes a lot of effort, but we’re here to help. Contact us to help you and your team develop a digital product strategy and achieve your business goals.

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