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Looking at Your Product Vision Through a New Lens

Looking at Your Product Vision Through a New Lens

  • Product Strategy /

Jonathon Hensley

Take Control with a Clear Plan of Action

Vision. Are you using it to shape your business to its full potential? Maybe not. The concept of vision is often lauded as important, but rarely understood or used to its full potential.

Although the term can garner a few eye-rolls, vision is not to be ignored. Many see vision as a dream or goal, and it is; but it’s so much more than that. When you have vision, not only have you created a realistic goal but you have also developed plausible steps that will lead to the successful execution of that goal. With a clear vision, you not only know your destination but you have a map to get there.

In 1983, during a Q&A at the International Design Conference in Aspen, CO, Steve Jobs gave a speech intuitively predicted the coming of mobile computing and the future of technology, including laptops and tablets.

How was he able to predict twenty years into the future?

Clearly, Steve Jobs had vision, he’s known as one of the greatest technological visionaries of all time. Jobs had the uncanny ability to set a goal and create a reasonable action plan in order to achieve that goal. In many cases, a single goal for him was a stepping stone to achieve his greater vision, the mark of a true visionary.

Vision has forged the path of every successful business.

Harvard Business Review said it well, “The ability to visualize and articulate a possible future state for an organization or company has always been a vital component of successful leadership.” Organizations that succeed have made sure to imagine their future, decide what their goals should be, and create a plan to reach them.

Take Aim: Set Goals + Plan of Action

Setting a goal is of the utmost importance, yet meaningless without also considering the variables that will impact that goal and the realistic achievability. When you develop a vision that includes a plan of action, you take control of your vision. You are no longer aimlessly seeking a distant dream; you have clarity, confidence and purpose in every move that you make.

This is much easier said than done. You have a goal, now what? For many, dreaming of the future and creating goals is simple, acutely planning is challenging, and execution is where successful enterprises separate themselves from the rest.

We developed a tool that can help you take control of your vision.

After 20 years of guiding companies, from startups to the Fortune 50, we’ve distilled the most vital components of a digital product vision. The Product Vision and Planning Checklist is a proven tool that takes users through a series of considerations to create a clear vision and advanced path to attainability. Once a goal is set, consider how it will be accomplished. Whether or not the goal is realized, what will change?

Consider the outcome: Who benefits?

What does that audience really want and how should it be delivered to them? You should also consider the outcome. If you reach this goal, what will happen? In the case of Steve Jobs, one could argue that the technology he brought to the masses completely changed not only how we communicate, but how we live our lives.

What do you need to accomplish this goal? This could include, but is certainly not limited to, people, hardware, technology, etc. Are there any existing relationships between these variables that could be an advantage or disadvantage? Do any policies or procedures need to change to make this project a success?

Finally, it’s important to think about failure.

What happens if you don’t do this? Are you putting all your eggs in this basket or can your business stand to not solve this challenge or lose out on this opportunity?

We recently tackled these questions with Katharine Nester, the Chief Technology Officer of Ruby Receptionists on our Mobile First podcast. Katherine spoke about her experience with vision planning after releasing a new application earlier this year for Ruby’s small business remote receptionist service. Creating the app was the goal, but there were many important considerations along the way. Katharine admits it’s easy to “get swept up into making such large change and let the little things go.”

The true marker of vision is being able to execute the plan to achieve your goal, while iterating and adapting to stay on the right path.

Our Product Vision and Planning Checklist considers all the factors needed to create a full-proof plan for success. It empowers businesses with the information they need to take control of their vision and reach their goals.

Jonathan Swift, an 18th-century satirist, once said that “vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” Vision is so much more than simply envisioning the future. Vision is being able to build the map and the roads that lead you to the future.

Take control of your vision and create a clear plan to achieve it.

Be focused, build alignment, and be more likely to reach your goals. Have confidence in your roadmap and move forward to achieve your goals.

Those who take control of their vision and create a clear achievable plan are far more likely to reach their goals. They feel confident and secure because every effort has been made to forge a clear path to reach their dreams. You can do it, too. Imagine the goal. Plan for the goal. Reach the goal.

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