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Samantha Ugulava
Senior Product Manager, Enterprise Agility, AtlassianNovember 23

A product vision statement is a short, concise, and aspirational set of goals for your product. As a Product Manager, you will need to develop a deep understanding of your company, customers, compeititors, and teammates. Research will depend entirely on your level of understanding of these areas. 

For the past 2 years, I led the Confluence Content Experience team at Atlassian. My team owned the creating and publishing workflow and our product vision statement looked like this: Our goal is to help creators feel confident creating and publishing more types of content on Confluence.

For me, I was pretty familiar with my company and product group's vision, and I understood how to motivate my engineering team. Where I needed to spend time was building up my knowledge of our customers and competitiors before writing my team's product vision. Here are a few questions I wanted to answer:

  • What kind of persona research already exists for Confluence?
  • What's the difference between a creator, collaborator, and content consumer?  
  • What problems do creators face in Confluence today? 
  • When do creators publish their first page in Confluence?
  • What % of creators are repeat creators?
  • How do people create in other tools? 
  • Why do some Confluence users choose to create in competitive tools?

Great product vision statements ladder up to your organization's vision, focus on the customer, highlight how your product is different from others on the market, and motivate your team to rally around a shared vision as you collectively try to solve big-hairy problems together.

Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 4

Some elements to consider - 

1. Market - Market landscape, gaps, and market opportunities. You want to work on an impactful problem area. Key Geos you will play in. etc.

2. Key vectors - I also like to play at the intersection of 2-3 key growth vectors - so I know directionally I am betting in the right space. So, for example, you could be bullish on video as an explosive growth area for content and creativity and marketing, and you could be bullish on cloud as a universal enabler for key digital transformations across industries and domains, and you could be bullish on AI/ML as the key differentiator for step-change in productivity and efficiency gains - then, you could perhaps target a gap/opportunity that sits at the intersection of video, cloud and AI/ML. Research can provide you with the ammunition to establish these key growth vectors as foundational building blocks for your vision.

3. TAM - The TAM has to be worth it. What is the rTAM for your area? And how do you slice that rTAM by different personas?

4. Personas - You also research the key personas and other stakeholders who will benefit. Ideally, you have one persona who you are zoning in on. And your solution has a halo effect on other stakeholder personas.

5. Competition - who are existing incumbents or future competitors you have to be aware of as you get into this game?

6. Profitability / Share of wallet / Willingness to pay - This is key to identify right upfront so you know your path to monetization and profitability. What is your "profit puppy"? What are your COGS and how are you going to cover them? etc.

7. Key workflow - You want to nail the key workflows that your solution will enable and transform. Ultimately painting a picture using UX design and walkthroughs of these key workflows will help you sell your vision and make it a reality.

8. Winning aspiration - What does "winning" mean in this landscape? It's important to research and write that "key zen" statement out so it's crystal clear.

Once these elements exist, creating a crisp vision statement highlighting the problem areas, key gaps, key personas that this is for, and your winning "zen" etc. becomes easy.