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How to Build a Product Vision by Spotify Product Manager

In this episode, Matt Williams talks about building a product vision and getting stakeholder buy in. He also covers 'managing up' and how to navigate within your organization, whilst fostering an understanding of vision and user empathy with engineers.

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How to Build a Product Vision by Spotify Product Manager

  • 1. www.productschool.com How to Build a Product Vision by Spotify Product Manager
  • 2. FREE INVITE Join 23,000+ Product Managers on
  • 3. COURSES Product Management Learn the skills you need to land a product manager job
  • 4. COURSES Coding for Managers Build a website and gain the technical knowledge to lead software engineers
  • 5. COURSES Data Analytics for Managers Learn the skills to understand web analytics, SQL and machine learning concepts
  • 6. COURSES Digital Marketing for Managers Learn how to acquire more users and convert them into clients
  • 7. COURSES Blockchain for Managers Learn how to trade cryptocurrencies and build products using the blockchain
  • 9. Building a Product Vision Matt Williams Product Manager, Spotify Data & Monetization
  • 10. What We’ll Cover Today A bit about me Building blocks of a product vision Frameworks & Tools Key Takeaways & Summary
  • 13. Why Vision is so Important @ Spotify “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men [and women] to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • 14. Vision Building Activities ● Workshop your opportunity space ● Define your product principles ● Build personas & empathy maps ● Craft a vision statement ● Develop good communication habits ● Measure success against KPIs
  • 16. Defining Product Principles Principles are a set of beliefs and intentions that reflect your team’s values and vision. They can be solidified in a charter focused on ways of working, agreed upon by the team Some examples might include: ● Customer-centricity ● Mobile-first ● Accessibility, Inclusivity, Social Impact ● Ethics (e.g. AI & ML) ● Failing fast and iterating ● Collaboration ● Scalability & Interoperability ● Observability ● QA Mindset & Test Ownership
  • 17. Crafting Personas & Empathy Maps Personas are a great way of contextualizing your end-user and building empathy. They can be static documents or physical artifacts:
  • 18. Writing a Vision Statement Often expressed as ● North Star Goal or Mission Statement ● Something that fits into the organization’s broader mission IS NOT ● A list of features, bug fixes, and/or tech debt Helps the team ● Prioritize ● Map tactical and strategic decisions to a broader goal ● Stay motivated and on-task ● DREAM BIG! Reiterated in the ● Roadmap ● Sprint Objectives The Product Vision Statement describes the purpose of a Product, the intention with which the Product is being created and what it aims to achieve for customers and users
  • 19. Examples of Great Vision Statements "Our vision is to be earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online." “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” "To unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it."
  • 20. And some that need work... Disclaimer: Please don’t work as hard as Elon Musk, it’s not healthy
  • 22. Our Squad’s Vision Statement “To build an attribution engine that delivers actionable insights in near-real time to artists, businesses, and Spotify. Those insights create a better UX for our customers, and help artists and marketers make smart choices about how to promote themselves on Spotify. Product Key Benefit Competitive Advantage Target Customers Opportunity Statement of Need
  • 23. Practicing good habits Make sure the vision is visible and always up to date. Reiterate it during: ● Sprint planning ● Retrospectives ● Demos ● Product Planning Sessions Ensure that roadmaps, features, tactical and strategic decisions are working towards the vision statement and target customers. Set realistic goals and measure them!
  • 24. Measuring Success Craft a set of visible, relevant, and measurable KPIs to track success. A vision without measurement is just that...a vision. Invest in: ● Publicly accessible dashboards for ○ Growth tracking ○ Trend analysis and inflection points ○ KPIs that map to a broader company objective, i.e. acquisition, activation, retention Constantly reiterate progress often in scrum rituals (sprint plannings, demos, retrospectives, etc)
  • 25. Key Takeaways ● Don’t take changes to the vision lightly. Make sure any change in direction is clearly communicated and discussed ● Words matter....a lot. Make them punchy, compelling, and inspiring ● Walk the talk. Live up to your vision and product principles ● If you can’t explain the vision in a simple way, you don’t quite understand it ● Codify it into your daily work
  • 26. www.productschool.com Part-time Product Management, Coding, Data, Digital Marketing and Blockchain courses in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Orange County, Seattle, Bellevue, Toronto, London and Online

Editor's Notes

  1. At spotify, product managers work with squads of about 5 engineers. We are an autonomous team in a high trust environment, so vision building and making sure everyone is aligned is extremely important when there is such a high trust environment. The PM defines the what and why, and the engineering team figures out the how.