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What is your process of setting a vision when you join a new company?

3 Answers
Vasanth Arunachalam
Vasanth Arunachalam
Meta Director, Technical Program ManagementAugust 10

I’m assuming the question is about setting a ‘team’ vision/mission and one doesn’t exist yet. The mission statement is the “What” and the vision statement is an ambitious future state of what the world might look like when you accomplish your mission.

A crisp vision/mission statement serves as a strong identity for your team and guides them during critical moments of decision making, gaining alignment, prioritizing resources etc. Here is a framework that I’ve leveraged in the past to arrive at a vision/mission statement for my teams, collaborating with our cross-functional partners. Have each person in the working group articulate the following in once sentence.

  • Understand our role
    • Why do we exist?
    • What is our purpose?
    • What principles drive our product building?
  • Understand our customers
    • What does research tell us?
    • What problems do they have?
    • How are we helping them?
  • Understand how the future looks like
    • What’ll happen if we didn’t exist?
    • What does success look like?

Next, create the vision and mission statements based on common themes and ensure it aligns with the company’s vision & mission. These statements should typically be short, start with a verb, strive to be aspirational and endure the test of time. Once the working group of cross functional partners align, socialize with key stakeholders and the broader org. You might want to consider doing a branding splash (new logo, ordering swags) to get people excited about the new vision & mission.

914 Views
Aleks Bass
Aleks Bass
SurveyMonkey Vice President Product ManagementFebruary 28

Every new job I've taken has had a pretty specific challenge I was hired to solve, and I was fortunate to have that clarity (at least at a high level). 

When I start in the new role, I focus on the following elements:

  • Build relationships with my team and cross-functional partners
  • Learn about the industry
  • Study competitors
  • Explore the product in detail
  • Collect as much customer feedback and usage data as I can get my hands on
  • And last but not least, find all the skeletons (or as many as I can).
    - What does the sales team wish they had that the product team just won't prioritize?
    - What does customer success wish the product team did so they would get fewer repetitive requests?
    - What does the team struggle with when trying to ship high-quality products with velocity?
    - And I dig into these topics with each cross-functional partner. While I'm doing this, I'm also looking for things that have been tried and didn't work before.

Once I have all that perspective, I pull together some data on the market, industry, competitors, and any other stimuli I think might be helpful for the team to have. I then schedule a brainstorming session. In this session, I guide the team through a series of exercises to uncover common themes we can align our initiatives around. In addition, I make meaningful progress based on the pain points they have all been voicing in my discovery sessions.

Once I'm satisfied that I've pulled every last idea out of this group, I go off and start to create the skeleton of the vision. I ask key members of the team to do the same and schedule a follow-up where we can discuss it. From my point of view, we work together until the vision is complete. This usually means that it addresses many of the pain points and the broader team feels like they have been heard. I make any changes that are requested and then the socialization tour begins because, without alignment, your vision isn't getting very far.

This recipe has worked consistently with slight modifications for each role. Hope it helps!

653 Views
Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
Carta Director of Product ManagementMarch 14

I like to start by understanding the historical context and how teams arrived at where they are. What decisions were made and why. What worked well and what didn't go according to the plan.

Starting there also enables me to build early relationships with key stakeholders and understand the collective vision for the product area. 

Then, I like to take a fresh look at things by taking an outside-in look. This is when I research market trends and competitor strategies. This helps me learn from others in the industry and have a broader pulse for customer needs. 

392 Views
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