What Is a Product Strategy Framework?
A product strategy is a high-level plan describing what a business hopes to accomplish with its product and how it plans to do so. It should answer these key questions:
- Who will the product serve (personas)?
- How will the product benefit those personas?
- What are the company’s goals for the product throughout its lifecycle?
Why Is a Product Strategy Framework Important?
Applying a well-defined, consistent framework for developing a product strategy significantly improves the odds of product success. This framework is also critical for distilling another critical question: the why of a product.
Jay Fuchs, HubSpot Blog staff writer, defines product strategy this way:
“Product strategy is a matter of defining a product’s purpose. One of its most important functions is establishing the why of a product. And without that, it’s challenging for product teams to know where to start and how to proceed.”
Tips for Creating a Well-Defined Product Strategy Framework
Refer to these ten tips to create a successful, well-defined product strategy framework:
- Create an ambitious product mission or vision. A product strategy should flow naturally from a product’s mission or product vision.
- Learn about customer needs and how they’re evolving. An effective product strategy begins with a deep understanding of the market.
- Understand where your product idea fits into the value chain. Figure out how and where your product fits into the larger context of users’ lives, and what (if any) obstacles target customers might face using your product.
- Look for similar growth patterns and cycles in other markets. Find an example of a product in another market that gained market share and follow that product’s strategy. This approach can also help you identify (and avoid) techniques that led to market failures.
- Identify the ways your market might change and be ready. Examining similar trends and patterns in other markets provides a better sense of how things can evolve.
- Develop your strategy’s KPIs. Set a goal of developing measurable KPIs while creating your strategy rather than backfilling them after the strategy is complete.
- Build your product roadmap. Your product roadmap should always tie to strategy. Every theme, epic, and other product initiatives considered by your team should only earn a spot on the roadmap to the extent that it supports your product strategy.
- Communicate your strategy. Your roadmap should be the vehicle you use to convey your high-level plans and goals—your “why”—behind your strategy.
- Begin executing on your strategy. Develop a sneak peek of what the product will eventually do—and maybe even offer limited functionality—to your users, to gauge their interest levels, ideas, and other feedback.
- Measure your progress and course-correct along the way. The more you can ground your product strategy in real data, the greater your chances of success.
Bonus tip: At every step in the product strategy framework, take the feedback you’re gaining from users and check it against your existing strategy. If your product is resonating with potential customers, then keep going. If users send you signals that they’d be more interested in different functionality or roadmap prioritization, then take this data and use it to find another way to achieve your product’s mission.