BUILDING A VISION TREE
AUTHOR: SHARON DON
USER CENTRED DESIGN APPROACH
ENVISION: WHY THE VISION TREE?
• Every project needs a single vision. Projects start out as ideas focused on results.
Somewhere in the transition from idea to project, the vision of a better future often gets
• During the Ideation & Concept phase of a project or program, it is important to develop a
clear, shared vision. The business owner must unify and promote the business vision within
the project team so everyone is unified in their understanding of the project purpose,
context and desired outcomes (value).
• As an owner, this person must take accountability for the project outcomes.
• The Vision Tree is used to define & communicate the project proposition & purpose,
end user problem statements, jobs to be done and high level user stories.
Product Purpose Why?
Jobs to do
to solve customer problems
Insight: A day in my life
Is this really what I
Validate concept with Customer Insights
The Vision Tree is the most important element in shaping, defining &
communicating any idea that we bring to the table.
It articulates value and meaning in customer language on a single 1-page. Post
it prominently and involve your visionaries in planning and demos
Likelihood to uptake & use
I don’t know the
where to start
Keep it simple
maximum of 3
break it down
in circles –
we can’t land
Cant land a
must align to
vision – if
If you cant land
a vision, stop or
than one -
the team to
Convey context &
to everyone in
can get in
I use this? I
Vision Trees are used to define & share a unified vision,
demonstrate value from an end users perspective, & provide
context & meaning to development teams.
Problem statement from a
user perspective / Insight
Jobs to be Done
Key functions that will
resolve each problem
Key functions also form the
basis for use cases
How to define a problem?
• Keep it simple
• Define the problem as
• Create statements that can
• Use phrases like : “How
HOW TO CREATE A VISION TREE
SAMPLE HIGH LEVEL USER STORIES
As a <USER>, I want to <Function> so that <Value>
• As a Product manager, I want to start the Vision tree based on what I already know, so
that our team can collaborate to fill the gaps.
• As a Designer, I need to understand the target audience so the team creates a solution
that fits the customers needs.
• As a Designer, I don’t want too many problem statements or jobs to be done so the
vision and solutions stays simple enough for the whole team to understand.
• As a Designer, I want to challenge the Business Owners assumptions so the team doesn’t
waste time and money developing lame products.
• As a Product manager I want the team to understand the Product proposition, purpose
and context so they develop a solution that meets my customers needs.
• As a Product Manager or Designer I want my team members to collaborate together so
they can leverage their collective expertise and experience to validate assumptions and
develop optimal solutions.
• Your vision should be validated
• Conceptual testing can improve and tweak the vision
• The vision should be used as a guide throughout the project
• May be used within Agile or waterfall
It’s not about the document – it’s about the thinking …
• Leverage from experienced “vision tree” experts!
• Structure is less important that content (which is why it is hard!)
• Test, Validate and improve the vision as you progress
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
A Human centred Design approach maximizes customer value.
• Strategy Definition
• Customer Insights , Customer/User Experience strategy
• Target Customer/User & Channels
• Value Propositions, Prioritization & Planning
• Collaboration & Agility: Visioning for Value, Personnas, User Stories/Use
cases, Information Architecture, Protoyping, Testing, Iteration, Production
• Business Process Design & Organisational Structure
• Feedback & Analysis
Contact Sharon Don @ CommunNovate.net to learn more about Human centred,
Design Thinking approaches to Innovation and Transformation