Workshop: Canvas Your Way to Product Vision
I developed this workshop and related canvas for product vision while working as a product manager in Sydney. The canvas and workshop format have been iterated many times and is often used alongside other interactive session during a kickoff week for a new project or product development iteration. Not only is the workshop helpful for taking in ideas from broad groups of stakeholders, but summarizing the content into a canvas is an excellent method for post-workshop synthesis. The canvas then becomes a tool for the PM, aiding with onboarding new team members, keeping stakeholders aligned, or making tough decisions.
Ideally, stakeholders in a business would come to a PM and say ‘I want to solve X problem’, but this is rarely the case. More often teams are prescribed a new feature top-down. In either case, this workshop is a great way to bring the user back to the center of the discover/concept phase and get everyone, including management, on the same page.
I had the pleasure of facilitating this workshop at PMF Zurich this year, as well as 2 sessions in Berlin ahead of the conference. Feedback was largely positive, and I have heard that several attendees from the session at Zalando have begun using the framework with their teams.
I’ve found that many teams don’t take a user-centered approach when setting product vision or developing new feature concepts. This workshop puts the user at the center of the discussion and helps product teams develop their product (or feature) vision. The resulting artifact (a 1-page canvas) from the workshop can be used throughout the delivery phase to keep the team and stakeholders aligned and true to what’s really needed by their identified users and their needs.
For the APAC conference, I would recommend extending the interactive session to 90-minutes. The additional time would allow for a more reasonable pace of facilitation and enable participants to engage in deeper conversations.
Attendees will learn a user-centered framework and workshop format for developing product vision:
1. We start by defining the problem we’re looking to solve, then identify user groups and their needs, and then brainstorm possible features to satisfy those needs
2. Pushing the traditional product canvas one step further, the final steps of the workshop look at success metrics, voice of the customer, experience principles, and ultimately the product vision
3. Participants will leave the workshop with a product vision template and the confidence to conduct the workshop with their teams