Role of the Product Vision when Development goes Agile

As Roman Pichler correctly puts it in his article on the → InformIT Network:

„An effective product vision ensures the success of Scrum by guiding your team and aligning stakeholders and customers…. Often Scrum’s emphasis on “getting work done” is misunderstood as a rush to develop with not enough thought to where the project should be going. Don’t make that mistake. Every Scrum project needs a product vision that acts as the project’s true north, sets the direction …“ – Roman Pichler on the InformIT Network

He does not stop with this statement, but adds recommendations, which very well complement my article → SCRUM Product Owner: Role and Task. For me, the remaining question is „Which mindset does the Product Owner require to deliver such a vision?“.

Mindset of a Successful Product Owner

Each product owner (with products in the B2B business) acts in the following triangle of customer requirements:

  • Deliver irresistible value
  • At minimum possible costs
  • With an instant ‚Time-To-Value‘.

Here the mind set of such a Product Owner and the role understanding, which allows him to deliver a proper vision:

  1. I understand the mission and the strategy of my company, and prioritize my work and the work of my teams accordingly.
  2. I have a midterm roadmap for my product at hand (3-4 years), which helps me to set our priorities, and which assists me in keeping us on track.
  3. I and my teams have reviewed all relevant information, and truely understand the customers/market, before we decide to start developing.
  4. I can explain in a maximum of 5 sentences, which value my customer can take out of my product quickly.
  5. I know how, and why my product contributes to the success of my customers.
  6. I can stay focussed, as I know what is important, and where I can say „no“.
  7. I can explain internally and externally, without problems, what belongs to my product, and what does not (and it makes perfect sense, as my audience came to the same conclusion).
  8. I make sure that we execute on our vision, and that our execution is aligned with the rest of our company, and that I constantly contribute to the quality of tools and processes that support my team executing.
  9. I am responsible, and feel accountable for the success of my product.

From the technical perspective, I think that it is helpful for the teams to have a practical description of the vision, which follows the idea of Buyer Personas (for example – German: → Marlene meets Laura-Beispiele für Personas im Produktmanagement.

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