Sriram Iyer

Sriram IyerShare

GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe
Product Executive with hands-on global experience leading product vision, product strategy, and go-to-market strategy. Successful track record of building products from concept to commercialization...more
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Sriram Iyer
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 3

Metrics are absolutely necessary when building your vision board. As you think of metrics, think of what will really define success? And how will we as a team measure success? Here are a few examples of key questions teams try to answer as they think of crafting metrics for their vision canvas - 

1. What KPIs will you use to define success?

2. What are your product goals and outcomes?

3. What are your quality goals and outcomes? (Performance and Stability goals for example)

4. How will you measure progress toward these goals?

5. How will you communicate progress towards these goals? Who’s the audience? What’s the cadence?

6. How will you re-think your routine as you drive this key initiative? What are the key meetings you will drive to ensure progress and the success of your product/initiative?

7. What are the meetings that you will stop attending, or send a delegate to?

Sriram Iyer
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 3

Yes. At some point, you want to have a set of key workflows and key personas nailed as a part of the vision canvas. And using low code or UX mocks etc. - you want to test the validity of the hypothesis to the next granular level. Always be testing, always be validating, always be pivoting and making small tweaks to your plan based on the feedback and data you receive.

Sriram Iyer
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 3

I like to think of it as a set of "converge and diverge" thinking exercises. Usually, I like to start with a blank page and write down my hypothesis. Something that I've observed in talking with customers, or a gap that I'm seeing emerge as I study the market and opportunities, etc. Then I like to bring a small cross-functional team together (think product, research, design, marketing, etc.) to talk about the hypothesis and see if it resonates. Ideally, you want research to take lead and further validate the opportunity and answer the unknowns. And you lead workshops and brainstorming sessions with this cross-functional team to keep fine-tuning the vision. There will be times when you want to welcome all ideas (especially the craziest ones) as you are in diverge mode. And at times you want to start eliminating stuff and focus when you are in the converge mode. Having the team build on the initial hypothesis doc and make it their own is key. This is a highly collaborative exercise. A lot of it can happen offline too as folks key in edits and comments on a Word doc or PowerPoint for example. But I love getting together in a shared space and whiteboard stuff. Nothing can substitute that part of the process. Along the way, you can use a bunch of frameworks or visual tools to come up with the vision statement. V2MOM (originally from Salesforce), the Product Vision Board (UC Berkeley), and the Product Strategy Canvas (Kellog) are all great tools that I often go to.

Sriram Iyer
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 3

Pretty much the same stencil that I used to answer the previous question. If you are pivoting, I'd assume that one or more of these elements below have changed. So I'd use this framework to re-examine the sweet spot that you need to land on to be effective and win this next time around.

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.

Sriram Iyer
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, DeloitteMay 3

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.

Credentials & Highlights
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA at Adobe
Formerly Salesforce, Deloitte
Product Management AMA Contributor
Studied at MBA (Mktg), MS (IT Systems), BS (Physics, Electronics)
Lives In San Jose, CA
Hobbies include Chess, Poker, Music, Movies, Reading
Knows About Product Innovation, Growth Product Management, Product Management Career Path, Produc...more
Speaks English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil