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Creating Vision and Goals with a Future Press Release

To help a team foster visionary thinking, promote proactive problem solving and align on desired outcomes for a product, teams can use a technique known as the Future Press Release. (Also known as Newspaper Headline or Cover Story.) This technique encourages participants to envision a future where their product has achieved its goals for customers and also benefited society. It is a Backcasting method, where you look forward to a desirable state and then work backwards to establish steps that can help you get there.

Imagine the future. Your product hits the market with resounding success, earning praise from both consumers and critics alike. People can’t get enough of it! Your product’s success is headlining, not just in trade publications, but in the mainstream media!

What might those headlines say? 

What would be written about your product and its impact?

Imagining such a future scenario, envisioning your future success is a great way to help you as a Product Owner with crafting your product vision and future goals. It’s also a collaborative technique that allows you to work  with not only your team members, but also your stakeholders. This type of collaboration helps increase everyone’s buy-in and shared understanding of the vision you have for your product. 

Future Press Release example


Here is one way to facilitate a Future Press Release exercise to create your product vision collaboratively.

Activity Guidelines

  1. Introduce the exercise of writing a press release for a newspaper 

    Briefly explain how this session will help participants collaboratively envision the future of their product.

  2. Agree on when your press release will appear

    For example, you could choose 1 year, 2 years or 5 years

  3. Agree on what should minimally be included in the press release. This could include:

    A catchy headline that is appealing and memorable

    A sub-header that captures who the market and users are and what benefit they get from your product

    A short summary of the problem that your product solves for your users

    Testimonials about your product from some of those users. (Include at least 2) 

  4. Set a timebox and split into small groups, or work individually to create a press release with a catchy future headline. Give participants prompts such as:

    If our product was featured in <magazine>, what would we want the main headline to be?

    What would the press say about our product?

    What would the press say about the positive impact our product makes?

  5. After the timebox expires, prompt everyone to post their press releases on a (virtual) wall, like in an art museum. 

    To avoid any bias when discussing and critiquing the press releases in the next steps, this should be done anonymously

  6. Give everyone an unlimited amount of small (sticker) dots for voting.

    Allow time for all persons to individually visit each press release in silence. While viewing them participants add dots to the parts they like. This will create a heatmap. (Emphasize that participants do not vote on a press release as a whole, but just on the parts that they like and speak to them.) 

  7. Invite participants to write any questions, thoughts and concerns on sticky notes and place them below each press release

    There will be discussed after all press releases have been reviewed by participants

  8. After everyone has visited the press releases, facilitate a group discussion that analyzes the heatmap and questions and creates a shared understanding for all. The facilitator should:

    Appoint a scribe

    Have participants gather around a single press release. Set a timebox. (5 minutes is usually enough to get started.)

    To preserve anonymity, the facilitator talks through each press release and calls out the elements that have the most dot stickers resulting from the voting as these are the standout ideas. Participants call out any standout ideas that were missed. 

    The scribe notes down the standout ideas on sticky notes (one idea per sticky note), giving them a clear name, and adds the stickies above the press release

    Participants review any concerns, thoughts, and questions about the press release.

    Once all these steps have been taken it is time for the creator(s) of the press release to reveal themselves, and discuss anything that has been missed (or maybe even misunderstood).

    Everyone moves on to the next press release and repeats the process.

  9. The Product Owner can create a single Product Vision based on the insights and ideas that were gathered. 

    The Product Owner shares this vision back with everyone when complete.


  • Uses other than the product vision. You can also use this activity when crafting future long-term or Intermediate goals, such as a Product Goal. 
  • Customer outcome driven. By having customers and users participate in this exercise with the team, you are able to gain a user-centric approach to create a product vision.
  • Conversation is what's most important. The purpose of this exercise is not to create the perfect press release for your product. The conversation and input from everyone is what is most valuable.
  • Faster version. If you prefer a trimmed down version of this exercise, reduce what’s included in the press release. This can be just the headline, or the headline and the sub-header.



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