How Can You Align Product Development with Business Strategy?
When developing new products, organization leaders must ensure their efforts align with the overall business strategy. This is essential for success because it relates the new product to the company mission.
According to product development research, one in seven product ideas will be successful. Those that are, tie directly into customer needs to fulfill a demand or solve a problem.
A product development strategy creates a roadmap for the implementation and design of new products. Here are some ideas to consider when building a successful strategy.
Begin with the Company Mission
The overall business strategy is built on the company mission. Knowing why the business exists is critical to figuring out how you will achieve your organizational goals.
When creating a business strategy, include initiatives that outline your purpose and how you will operate. Develop your product strategy around these goals.
Create the Roadmap
The roadmap connects your business and product strategies to one another. This occurs through your product vision.
Use the roadmap when planning new products to remind you of your overall business goals. Consider Google. Their mission or “vision” is to organize all data and ensure it is available for everyone to use.
Google has created an entire line of products around their vision. Chrome, for instance, simplifies the web browsing experience but also goes beyond that by connecting users to other products and services.
Understand the Product Vision
Develop a strategy for each product. Each will be different but will share the overall mission of your business.
Both strategies should drive outcomes and meet key objectives. Rather than focusing on product highlights, identify problems, and use those features to describe solutions.
Construct a Product Strategy
A product that does not align with the company strategy will become a feature set without a clear purpose. While that product may look great on paper, it may lack the ability to live up to its potential.
How a product development strategy aligns with corporate strategy statistically indicates how well it will do in the market. According to a 2012 survey, 91% of employees stated their daily activities aligned with the company mission. This is still the case today, with 37% of organizational leaders reporting they adhere to a business strategy that is effectively communicated to employees.
Each product strategy should be built on company values. Without it, teams will not know which activities to pursue when developing a product.
Achieving high performance relies on a well-thought-out strategy that is communicated to all teams before implementation. The product strategy is an integral part of a roadmap that provides guidance on project direction.
Product features that aren’t aligned with overall business goals result in a negative impact on performance. Team members who are unclear about how they contribute to the company may lose motivation.
Plan your product development strategy as you would when plotting a journey. Figure out your destination, then plan the path you will take to get there. Budget this journey according to your goals and vision.
Include flexibility in your plan. Your company vision will evolve over time, and you need to be ready for those changes.
Plan your product development strategy with the customer in mind. Knowing what your customers want and need is essential to meeting demand.
Reach out to customers for feedback on current and future products. This is a great way to find out what they need.
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