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Jillian Kaplan

Aligning Company and Product Mission, Vision, and Strategy

Jillian Kaplan

  • Jul 23, 2020
  • 4 Min read
  • 42 Views
  • Jul 23, 2020
  • 4 Min read
  • 42 Views
Product Management
Management
Value-driven Planning
Strategy

Introduction

This guide will explore how you can align company and product mission, vision and strategy. You need to ensure that the product and solutions you are launching align with the overall company strategy.

Product Manager Deliverables

It is important to understand what you are going to deliver when talking about aligning the overall strategy and vision. This might include:

  • Product management from concept to design

  • Delivering the operating plan, with the achievement of growth objectives including market share, revenue, profit, and return on investment for all the channels and categories of the business and/or key customers.

  • Management and implementation of marketing activities through research and strategy planning. You often work closely with marketing or product marketing to deliver this.

Then in addition to what is delivered you are responsible for:

  • Road map and key features

  • Vision

This guide will dive into the vision bullet. Vision of what exactly? It will be the vision of the product or solution, but it is important this vision aligns with the company vision.

Product Vision and Strategy

The strategy of a product must be explained when you are bringing it to market. Why this product? Why now? What is the vision and strategy for the future? However, this strategy varies greatly depending on the size and structure of the company. It could be the strategy for the entire portfolio of products at the company one particular product line or business unit, or a single product. For each of these variations it is important to:

  • Set the strategy
  • Execute on the strategy
  • Make sure the product and its launches are aligned to the strategy

Setting this strategy at the product level will help you match it up to the company strategy.

Understanding Company Strategy

It's very important to understand what your company strategy is. You need to do a deep dive into the overall strategy so that you can align to it.

This is something that needs to be openly shared and understood. A company cannot expect you to alight to a strategy when you don’t know what it is.

For example, maybe a piece of the strategy involves owning 50% of the shoe market in the next ten years. Does your product align to that? Is your product even a shoe? What percentage of the market can your product help deliver?

Message House Rules

The message house is something that is built by marketing to help you understand overall direction of the company or business unit. It literally looks like a house: the roof is an overarching message and strategy, which is held up by three core statements. The foundation includes the evidence and proof points.

Use this message house as your source of truth to help you make sure that your product vision aligns with the overall messaging for the business unit or company. Each segment you are trying to align to up through the company level should have its own message house, so you can simply align through each level.

Start at the product level, work up through the product line, then through the business unit, then through the overall organization. Aligning at each level is key to ensure you keep continuity.

Company Size Matters

When we talk about aligning product and company mission, vision and strategy the size really matters. For example, if you are in a two person company with one product then your product will certainly align with the company vision, but if you are at 100,000 person company with thousands of products, how can you be sure?

Using the message house for each relevant level will help you align up to the top at a company level and ensure what you are bringing to market is a part of the mission, vision, and strategy.

Conclusion

It is important to realize that there has to be transparency and understanding when we talk about the overall company and product mission, vision, and strategy. Leaving clear lines of communication and understanding your role as well as the over-arching strategy and pillars as outlined in the message house will help you align.

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