Product strategy.

Skills in Product Management

by Ibukunoluwa Ogundare
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A pyramid on what product strategy should involve

Product strategy is one of those product management buzzwords that people new to the sphere are interested in learning about. It is very important in the whole product development process hence the reason for all the intrigue around it. 

I hear a lot of questions like how do I define my product strategy. How do I know this strategy is really good and on and on about strategy? 

I like to think about strategy as a way a goal is to be achieved. Kind of like parameters to always consider when working to achieve a goal. For example, an athlete like Tobi Amusan that had the vision to be a world record breaker might have had a strategy like waking up daily early in the morning to practice for at least 3 hours. Waking up to practice tallies with her end goal of being a world record breaker because it builds values like consistency and diligence which is key in helping her achieve her aim. This is a basic example of what a strategy is like. 

A strategy is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end (The goal). So, a strategy should not be thought of as something to be achieved, gotten from CEOs or boards of directors. As a matter of fact, a consultant-getting strategy with the CEO or board of directors is not in itself a bad idea. If these set of people are able to assist with the process to achieve the vision, go for it. They should however not be your end goal. Strategy is a process guide to help achieve a vision. It can only be gotten from a deep understanding of exactly what you want to achieve. 

According to Melissa Peri, a good strategy is not a detailed plan, It is a framework that helps you make decisions. Product strategy helps you connect the vision and economic outcome of the company. It also connects these back to the product portfolio, individual product initiatives, and solution options for the team. 

Strategy creation is the process of determining the direction of the company and developing the framework in which people make decisions.

One company that has excelled over the years in creating and working with a good strategy is Netflix. They are the epitome of excellent strategy. They made the goal clear to all the team members from the beginning with words and actions. Then, they organized all their work around key outcomes and strategies to help them reach their goal. 

Once the vision is known, the strategy to achieve the vision should be prioritized and strictly adhered to. 

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