January 12

Product Strategy — What is it Exactly?

What is good product strategy? Your product strategy is not simply a plan with set outputs. Instead, Melissa Perri suggests, it’s a “system of achievable goals and visions that work together to align the team around desirable outcomes for both the business and your customers.” More specifically a strategy contains your vision, your first big goal, your target condition and your current state (compared to where you want to be).

Product strategy in a growing company. After achieving a product-market fit and building a substantial user base you will be faced with a new problem — that of users using your product in unexpected ways and expecting you to support them. Des Traynor shares how you can maintain a focus on building a holistic product rather than on a set of tools trying to appease too many edge cases.

How to develop a focused product strategy to back up your UI/UX decisions. The number one tool that Jane Portman underlines for a successful product strategy is to be “focused, purposeful and adamant“. Doing so requires a significant amount of work that Jane has outlined, including finding ideal users, figuring out their big goal and understanding their common tasks.

How to distinguish between your product roadmap, product strategy, and product vision. It’s probably fair to say that many of us will not see a distinction between these three activities. Cliff Gilley uses a nice space travel-themed analogy to explain how a vision should come from the top and be something that everyone rallies around. A strategy is a collection of techniques to get you there. And finally, roadmaps are high-level steps that are going to be followed in order to deliver each of these techniques.

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 20 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on in the exclusive Member Hub, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to Rocketship.fm, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly newsletters that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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