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Codete Blog

Product Vision Workshop – How To Run It?

Dawid Pacholczyk 3622ceab56

09/11/2022 |

11 min read

Dawid Pacholczyk

Successful development of digital products is crucial for virtually any high-tech business, and a meaningful product vision may be very helpful in reaching this goal. A starting point to such a development process, product vision is a vital part of the whole project management.

Defining the product vision is a significant step because knowing precisely where we want to go and what we want to achieve is very important in any task. And this is when the product vision development comes to play, providing a guiding light on the way to hit the market with a bang.

In this article, we’ll shed light on some ins and outs of crafting a product strategy and running a product vision workshop.


Table of contents:

  1. What is product vision?
  2. A good product vision workshop – how to run it
  3. Creating a product vision – key takeaways

What is product vision?

A vital part of project management, product vision development belongs to the discovery phase in software development. In brief, a product vision, or a product vision statement, is the essence of the product, written down after a brainstorming session called a product vision workshop.

Product vision statement

Developing a new product is a long process – and to make it successful, everything should make sense from the very start. The product team needs to define the direction in which it will go in order not to get lost along the way. A declarative statement, that a product vision statement is, is a good means for that.

A product vision statement is often catchy and captivating, and corporate copywriters spend long hours brainstorming on crafting it, carefully selecting every word, and refining the message. But it’s not only the marketing-ish thing and an empty slogan that is meant to please, excite, and gain crowds. It is much more.

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Delivering a product vision involves more than just coming up with a catchy marketing slogan that will draw audiences. The best outcomes from a high-end product vision workshop include validating your digital product idea, choosing the finest technical solutions, and organizing the resources needed to make your vision a reality. 

In short, the product vision statement serves the purpose of outlining the product’s long-term duty and a common goal that should be acknowledged and shared by all the people across the organization. They should always keep it in mind for reference and guidance when it comes to long-lasting, all-encompassing company aspirations.

Product vision statement vs. mission statement

And that’s how a vision statement differs from a mission statement. The former gives an inspirational, broad view of the desired future, and the latter – refers to the overall culture, goals, and values of an organization and tries to answer the question of why it exists.

A vision statement is more idealistic, and the mission statement represents a more down-to-earth approach. 

The two are different but often confused, though.

But now, let’s see what examples of a great company or product vision look like.

Company vision statement examples

There are some interesting vision statement examples available, including those from tech companies and Internet brands. Here are a couple of well-known statements: 

  • Google: „To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
  • Amazon: „To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where consumers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • TED: „We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.”

As you can see, company vision or product vision statements are brief, concise, and to the point, but usually also very appealing and inspiring. As these statements are usually single sentences, that’s why every word counts and can matter a lot. They are to present the reader with the vision – where the company wants the product to be, and refer to aspirations rather than the present state. 

For instance, product vision statements often start with „To create...”, „To be...”, „To provide”, „We believe in...”, „Our vision is to...”, „Our purpose is to”..., but may go far beyond this scheme, like Airbnb („Belong everywhere”), or Intel („If it is smart and connected, it is best with Intel”).

Product vision workshops – in search of tangible effects

But having a vague idea of a new product or system is usually not enough to fully comprehend the required workload. A more down-to-earth approach is needed for a new or improved digital project to succeed, and that’s precisely where dedicated product vision workshops prove to be priceless. 

Professional consultants can help you verify the digital product idea easily, as well as plan the resources for its delivery, which means defining a workable schedule or a budget. Tech stack, methodology, and architecture, as well as team members needed to build or enhance a digital product, can also be listed.

Verifying your digital product idea, selecting the optimal technology solutions, and planning the resources required to turn your vision into reality are the best things that can be achieved during a high-end product vision workshop.

But there’s more to the benefits of taking part in first-class product vision workshops. The bottom line is providing a final report summarizing the key findings, where the clients can find:

  • suggested architecture, tech stack, and team composition;
  • product backlog;
  • preliminary schedule and budget.

And now, let’s put words into action and see how to run a successful product vision workshop.

A good product vision workshop – how to run it

A starting point for the whole workshop procedure should be a reality check combined with letting the imagination run wild. In other words, participants should define the product’s current situation in the market as it is before considering its future developments and possibilities for growth.

To this end, the team should analyze the product’s superpowers and key advantages as of today and figure out which new functionalities could win the company competitors later on and make its future brighter. Next, these features ought to be prioritized. 

The bottom line should be defining the direction that the company behind the product wants to go in as well as choosing the best tools for that. Deciding on the product idea, its possible features, market fit, tech stack selection, a product roadmap, and the team to make the project come true, are all in the cards here.

To agree on these next steps, some product prioritization techniques and tools may be used, including dot-voting, MoSCoW, KANO, RICE, or Impact/Effort Matrix. On top of that, enough time and space should be enabled, with several separate sessions and the possibility to think things over guaranteed. 

Product vision workshops by Codete

Now, let’s have a look at some of the Codete product vision workshops’ details.

The workshops are typically divided into several phases, such as:

  1. Making an initial diagnosis – Collecting information about the product and its ultimate goals by the consulting team. This phase may start prior to the workshop.
  2. Creating a workshop plan Setting the primary goal of the workshop based on the client's needs. This may include tasks such as creating a backlog and architecture, as well as determining project feasibility.
  3. Running workshops As a standard, we run three sessions of three hours each. Workshops are always led by a skilled team of engineers and managers.
  4. Closure – This is the stage at which our consulting team prepares a comprehensive final report and delivers it to the client. 

Crafting a perfect product vision – some additional advice

Meaningful and fruitful product vision meetings can only be prepared by skillful and experienced product teams that are aware of how the process should look like, what items must be covered, and what outcomes it is to bring. Such a workshop requires detailed preparations that should embrace selecting the right tools as well as time frame and participants. Product managers should definitely be on the guest list.

As for the timing, one meeting most probably won’t be enough; instead, at least several sessions of intense brainstorming may be required. To make sure the workshop goes smoothly, all participants should come well-prepared for the first meet-up. This may mean writing down a list of the product’s strongest selling points, unique features, or competitive advantages over similar products.

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You can simply verify your idea for a digital product with the assistance of professional consultants, who can also help you organize the resources needed to deliver it by creating a realistic timetable or budget.

Of course, the product vision is a more general view of the hopes and dreams for the future that we want to create as a team and how our product can contribute to the so-called good of mankind. At the same time, product visions should be target customer-focused and relate to particular problems using a given product might solve.

Useful tools

Real-time collaboration tools where people may put their suggestions and comments on what their colleagues wrote as well as track changes are essential for remote teams. They can perform a product vision workshop better if they share an online whiteboard (like Miro, Mural, or Limnu) that every attendee should be trained in using – instead of writing everything down on a physical board.

Following a product vision template, also called a product vision board – a ready-to-use tool that envisions the product roadmap – may also be very helpful in creating a full-fledged product vision.

It should cover certain areas, like:

  • product category,
  • key features,
  • target audience,
  • competitors,
  • customer needs & problems you want to solve with the product,
  • business goals & relevant metrics.

Create your product vision with Codete

Product vision workshops are one of Codete’s consulting services and something the company is best at – apart from product design and prototyping, audit & consulting, as well as offering CTO as a Service. 

And what does a product vision workshop, Codete’s way, look like in practice? 

An insightful B4 Investigate case study can give you a good idea. In brief, our specialists in software development helped B4 Investigate develop a product vision & MVP for financial fraud detection SaaS platform.

Case study: B4 Investigate

After successfully helping their customers with financial fraud detection using a desktop program, B4 Investigate made the decision to broaden its offering with a unique, highly-specialized internet SaaS platform. B4 Investigate approached Codete for assistance during the entire process of its creation – from selecting the optimal tech solutions to the development of the web application.

Product vision workshops have been a vital part of the process. In order to move the original B4 Investigate application to the cloud, Codete experts were asked to put together a scalable solution based on contemporary technology, and the client was invited to participate in the workshops.

Codete’s role was to organize and lead the meetings that were meant to understand the operations of B4 Investigate better – before recommending to the client the best technical stack, a scalable infrastructure, and timed calculations. That combination was key for planning out the work in the project.

Following productive workshops, Codete decided to support B4 Investigate in developing their B4 PreCrime Cloud platform from a technical standpoint. A team of Codete professionals, including engineers, a tester, and a project manager, was assembled to deliver the proposed solution, with the client actively involved throughout the process.

Using the Heroku platform, Codete developers have already constructed and implemented MVP – the initial version of the application, which includes all essential features. Next, myB4 development was in progress, and the team of Codete specialists was adjusted to match the needs of its clients best. 

Creating a product vision – key takeaways

The product management, as well as key stakeholders, are vitally interested in informing the target market and potential customers about the existing product’s unique benefits, selling points, and competitive advantages. Finding the main differentiator or key benefit is vital as the whole product vision can be built upon it.

But crafting a good product vision is not easy and requires a lot of effort from an organization. If the product vision is clear, concise, and inspiring, and refers to the future – that is to be brighter thanks to using this product – then the first step in the right direction has been made. 

However, it’s the first-class product vision workshop that is to verify your digital product idea, pick and choose the optimal technology solutions, as well as help your organization plan the resources for its delivery.  

Interested in running a professional product vision workshop designed by market experts? Contact Codete now to hit the market with your new tech product with a bang.

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Dawid Pacholczyk 3622ceab56

Dawid Pacholczyk

Consulting Manager at Codete with over 15 years of experience in the IT sector and a strong technical background. Seasoned in working with multinational companies. Ph.D. student and lecturer at Polish-Japanese Academy of IT, focused on software architecture, software development and management.

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