How do you make a good product?
Part 2: A better strategy to make good products
The strategic process we use to map a high level vision down to tangible products is called a Lean Value Tree. This ensures that everything that gets built can ladder up to real, tangible goals that move an organization toward its vision.
In the lean value tree, the vision sits at the top. It sets the guiding direction toward which all investments should contribute.
An organization moves ever closer toward its vision by achieving goals set by business drivers to deliver toward the vision. These goals are not programs of work, but outcomes the business must achieve to realize its vision. Goals are big, and typically live for a few years before being completed or deprioritized.
Goals are further broken down into strategic bets. Bets are different ways in which the Goal might be achieved. Again these are outcome-oriented portfolios, and considerably smaller and more specific.
Finally, bets are broken down into a portfolio of initiatives which are clearly defined in terms of the tangible value they deliver. These initiatives have specific customer outcomes and business needs. These initiatives are small enough to be assigned to a product team for action.
And now we have multiple initiatives being built to serve a number of bets with an eye toward achieving a goal. In the case of our metaphor, we have people working to literally bridge a gap between themselves and others.