Often times product strategy becomes uni-directional, and some times UN-directional. Other times, either a single person or a single department drives strategy of a product. But, a product success lies in the balance of all the gears working in co-ordination.
It is also easier said than done that we should consider all aspects of product for creating our product strategy or roadmap.
Here is an interesting tool to address this problem. A balanced score card approach.
Any product strategy starts with a vision as most people know. Balanced score card considers all important stakeholders in the business and see what each one values and shapes the metrics to measure from each one’s viewpoint.
Step 1: Let’s take an example to see the use of this tool. I’m taking my favorite company — Nintendo. And, we’ll see how this could be used to span out their strategy. Everything starts at ‘Vision’ for strategy formulation.
Step 2: Now lets identify stakeholders who are all effected if this vision is fulfilled. All the stakeholders of the business. Lets consider for simplicity of this article following stakeholders: Nintendo as a business itself, its shareholders, employees and customers
At this point, we can chose to further branch out our stakeholders. Or sub branch the current ones further too. For simplicity sake, lets leave this branching as is, and move to next step.
Step 3: We can identify what are the critical successes we want our stakeholders to see. This will be a defining moment as we need to consult each one of them. Or, outline their best interest.
If any of you are not aware of Nintendo, it is the most innovative gaming company in the world. (You may appreciate this statement if you understand difference between innovation and creativity)
Step 4: Identify key metrics to measure these successes and document them. These metrics will be helpful to base our discussions on the roadmap which follows after product strategy.
Please take a note that some of the metrics can be same for several stakeholders. This is natural as they may have common interests. And, for same objective or success, there can be multiple metrics to validate as well.
Step 5: Use this to discuss and create a meaningful and balanced approach for roadmap.
- There are more things one need to do to create a product strategy than just this exercise. I don’t mean to say this is the ultimate tool. This tool can help greatly to bring stake in the ground to rationalize further steps.