October 21, 2019

How to Align Your Product Strategy using the Product Strategy Canvas (pt 1)

Hello awesome people. Back at it again with new learning from the trenches. Over the years working with Product Owners who mainly work in large corporations, I see common challenges. The Product Owners jump straight to solution/implementation without knowing the overarching business strategy from the Senior management. And when these Product Owners enter Sprint Planning, they are struggling to come up with the Sprint Goal. Often times the goal from them is just: complete PBI #1, PBI #2 and PBI # 7 and also fix defect #4057 before the end of the Sprint. These kind of Product Owners are usually not really owners of the product and just proxies who have been mandated by the Senior management. At the Development Team level, usually I observe there is a low level of excitement. Some of them even told me they feel like nothing more than a feature factory. When I am within this kind of organisation, I try as much as I can to change the situation and challenge the status quo when possible.

Over the years, I have been looking for a tool that can help create alignment between the Senior management, the Product Owner, the business and the Development Team and guide the Product Owner to start thinking about the goal first before jumping into creating the Product Backlog. I've been looking for a canvas that can help me facilitate the discussion that leads to alignment but the majority of these canvases does not fit my needs so I kept on modifying the canvases. Many of the existing canvases also focus on products for external customers or commercial products. I often get challenged by Product Owners who owns a product that will be used by internal customers how those canvas are irrelevant for them. So I listened to their feedback and created another canvas that is more generic and applicable both for commercial products and internal products.

Here is the canvas that I came up with so far. Some of you have already used it and gave me valuable feedback that I have already incorporated into the canvas. Thanks for that folks.

Canvas

You can download the softcopy of this canvas from here. I usually print this on A0 paper so there is enough space to fit in all the ideas.

I have also made a short video explaining how I have been using this canvas on the field.

 

That is all from me folks. Start using the canvas and expect rich discussion within your organisation and an increasing level of engagement from the Development Team. Let me know how it works out for you by leaving comments in the comment section down below.