Roman Pichler introduced the Product Vision board to the agile community back in 2011. The Product Vision board frames the work of building a great vision for your Product Backlog. Using the board one is given the oppertunity to describe the “elevator pitch” of the work to be conducted and identify target groups, needs, product and business goals. This can be very useful and have helped many teams around the globe.
“The vision plays an important role in bringing a new product to life: It acts as the overarching goal guiding everyone involved in the development effort. Equally important is the product strategy, the path chosen to attain the vision. Without a shared vision and an effective strategy, people are likely to pull in different directions, and the chances of creating a successful product are slim. While vision and strategy are key, describing them can be challenging. ”
– Roman Pichler
Working with a Product Vision board is awesome for the team as it sets the direction and helps identify overall path to follow. The Scrum team is responsible for implementing the Product Vision through Product Backlog Items managed by the Product Owner. On top of this, the Development team is responsible for managing quality, architecture and all “illities” that you can dream of for a software product. However, it is a concern that the Product Vision board (and actually Product Vision in general) only target the business and customer perspective. While this is the primary concern as it pays our wage, it is crucial to consider the technical aspects as well.
Caveat: Do not introduce an analysis phase of your project to address the technical aspects, but simply outline in the beginning and detail as knowledge is added.
To illustrate the intentention the Product Vision board from Roman Pichler has been updated with technical aspects that need to be addressed in parallel with clarifying the business aspects.
The line of thought and the underlying process goes from left to right in the board. Start by building the Technical Vision and dwelve into details from there. Using this template has proven helpfull when building the Technical Vision:
To achieve <visionary technical goal including quality attributes>
We will <statement of how to adhere to quality attributes>
To enable <development, architectural and technical>
To achieve a scaleable and extensible system
We will create a trustworthy suite of automated regression tests and deploy to production at least once per sprint without manual processes
To enable continous delivery and continous integration
Please, please, please remember that building the Product/Technical Vision Board is not a silverbullet. It is a tool that aims to enhance communication in the Scrum team to minimize the gap between customer needs and technical development. On top of that, the content of the board should be developed in parallel, meaning that the product aspects should influence the technical aspects and vice versa (and this is not just relevant when developing vision statements, it also applies when doing Story Mapping and Refinment).