7 Tips For Creating An Agile Product Strategy

Building a product without a plan is like going on a trip without a determined destination; you could end up somewhere nice or someplace unimaginable. Although, there’s a chance that you will succeed, it is not that high. 

Thus, product strategies are crucial, particularly agile strategies.  Instead of relying solely on your gut feeling and intuition in developing a product, you need a robust roadmap to follow in a fast-paced business world.

But first…

Why Agile?

Agile product development is exactly what it sounds like. This method aims to set a product strategy and create roadmaps in an agile environment. Agile product management is the response to the increasing use of frameworks that use agile project development methods such as Kanban and Scrum

An agile process can help reduce the costs of product development and the time it needs to be completed. This makes it ideal for businesses that need to develop products in a short time. Also, it allows the production and development team to quickly adapt to changes that can significantly improve the quality and features of the product before the intended release. 

How To Create an Agile Product Strategy?

Here are the ways to create an effective agile product strategy:

  • Talk To Your Prospect

Most product managers, even highly experienced ones, tend to develop their product strategy internally. They first talk to the executives, turn to their marketing and product teams, and look over market data. 

An experienced and talented product manager may have some of the greatest ideas on how to create and design a product. However, this approach actually misses the critical element in developing a winning product strategy—the intended user. 

Before you get too far on creating a product strategy and building a product roadmap based on your instinct, consult your team’s or executives’ ideas, do more detailed market research, go out, talk to target customers and listen to what they want. 

  •  Develop Product Vision

To map out a good agile product strategy, you need to identify the vision of your product. 

When you can convey a compelling vision for your new product, you are more likely to earn approval from your executive to move forward. Also, being able to articulate your product vision can play a significant role in your product’s success.

Communicating with the marketing and sales teams, developers, and industry analysts will give them a better understanding of the product’s goal. They may even share your enthusiasm. Once you’ve established a product vision, all of the decisions that you and your team would make about your product can have a more strategic and unified basis. 

  • Define the Product Goals

Once you’ve established your product’s “big picture”, you need to use that vision to identify a series of objectives and specific things that you want your product to accomplish. This step may sound obvious; however, a lot of product teams tend to fail in this area. They just often throw ideas on the whiteboard and hope it works. 

You can determine the most important thing that the product could achieve. For instance, increasing the lifetime value of customers or capturing a new type of user persona. It can also be a key success metric for the product—identifying whether your strategy is working on requires adjustments. 

Once you decide on the goal of your product, you can use these to inform your specific plans for functionality, features, and other aspects of the product that you are going to build.  

  • Keep It Simple

Although it may be tempting to include every creative feature you can come up with, an agile product roadmap can only accommodate changes to a certain extent. The more complicated your product roadmap is, the harder it is to add features or change deadlines. 

Keep in mind that a product strategy is more of a big-picture view that shows how you will get to the finished product. To help reach deadlines, you can use simple but visualized charts, like burndown charts, to check the progress of the project and whether or not there’s still enough time to implement all the objectives. To know more about burndown charts, you can read more from this source.

  • Define The Metrics For Success

It is not enough to establish a direction. You also need to measure how fast and effective you’re moving towards your product goal. Metrics can help a team measure performance and determine if they’re on the right track. 

If you don’t know which metrics to focus on, try starting with OKRs or Objectives and Key Results. Objectives are what you want the product to achieve and key results are how you measure that objective. 

  • Collaborate

Regardless of how good your product design is, it can only exist if people know and follow it. Thus, an effective way to create an agile product strategy is to employ a collaborative workshop. You need to invite the key individuals needed to develop, advertise, sell and service your product. 

By ensuring effective collaboration between core teams, you can generate early buy-in, create shared ownership, and leverage the collective creativity and knowledge of the group. 

  • Focus More On Prototypes

Documentation is a necessity since it contains essential details. However, as comprehensive as your documentation can be, they are less important than coming up with a working prototype—at least in the agile method. 

For instance, in software development, clients appreciate the presentation of documentation and discussing the features that are currently under development. However, clients would appreciate it more if they can see the working software. 

The same goes for product development. Prototypes have more substance than a thick pile of documentation since they can clearly represent whether or not the proposed product actually works.

Execute Your Strategy

Developing a new product means having a threshold of knowledge and preparation. Missing pieces of information and planning can prevent you from establishing the ideal product strategy since day one. However, by following the above tips, you can create a defined approach to develop a winning product strategy. 

With that said, think of your product strategy as another living organism that grows together with your company. Once you introduce your product strategies, you can get feedback and implement the required changes.

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