The Mission of a Product Manager & Mission Statements in Product

Introduction

Like any field of work and position, product managers are better off with a mission than without one.

Missions remind employees of their purpose. Why do product managers do what they do? Why are we building a feature a certain way? Who are we here to serve?

These are all questions related to the mission.

In this article, we will cover what the mission of a product manager is and mission statement examples across various fields in the product.

What Is the Mission of a Product Manager?

The product manager has the indispensable role of directing, leading, collaborating, and coordinating with teams to turn the product mission into a reality. The market triumph is heavily dependent on how well the management performs.

This means that the mission of a product manager lies in the hands of the product manager themself. It is not fair to say that only the product manager can make his or her team do their work, but it also cannot be denied that the success and achievements of a product all rely on it.

The mission of a product manager ultimately depends on where the product team is in their product life cycle. The mission of a product manager could be to boost user engagement of a feature that increases revenue. Or it could be to improve the user experience of the product to make it more competitive

Whatever the case might be, it is up to the product manager to drive their team towards a common goal in order for the team themselves to perform well.

While this already looks like a lot of tasks that should fall on a single person’s lap, there are also plenty of other factors lying at hand.

One factor is that it can be a conundrum to determine exactly the roles and required skill sets for a product manager, because they are multitudinous in nature. The confusion stems from the recency of the responsibility. 

Unlike the segment of people who are experts or specialists and vested with only specific responsibilities, a product manager has to essentially supervise all the functions and manage all the teams to ensure proper performance.

Product Tank leader and founder Martin Eriksson elucidates the terminology through a venn diagram, where the product manager sits at the intersecting point of technology, business and user experience.

This can be interpreted in a way that the task of product management requires you to perfectly strike a balance between all the three spheres.

This balance of responsibilities has everything to do with the mission of a product manager.

Product Management Mission Statement 

A statement that is concise and perspicuous in clarifying the highest level purpose of the product would be called a product mission statement.

It further explains what the services of the product are and who it serves. It also obliterates any qualms regarding the product and explains as to why it is unique and stands out in the market.

What Is the Purpose of the Product Mission Statement?

The product mission statement has a significant role to play in order to ensure the understandability of its purpose in the market. It follows the vision of the product.

  • It annihilates any complications regarding design and promotes simplicity which makes the product more compelling.
  • A clear and simplistic product mission statement helps in clarifying the team to understand the customers of the product.
  • It paves the way in streamlining and simplifying the internal process of the product development.

Product Management Mission Statement Examples

One of the best product management mission statement examples comes from Apple. 

From product development to management to product design to impeccable marketing strategy to incredible packaging, everything they do is to the point, market apt, and undoubtedly the gold standard across each and every industry.

They have a unifying theme and organized principle to which they stick to and base all of their strategies and key decisions, it’s nothing extraordinary but “simplicity”.

Ken Segall, established and renowned creative director for Chiat, a well known ad agency closely observed Steve Jobs and worked with him for an entire year. Later he assimilated all his observations in a book called Think Simple: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity. Segall lays special emphasis on how simplicity and obliterating unnecessary complexities can be the most compelling disseminating and defining for the product’s triumph in the competitive market.  

Apple’s Mission? To provide relevant, compelling solutions that customers can only get from Apple. This is one of the simplest, no nonsense statements that informs and highlights just about everything which Apple, Steve Jobs along with his team intend to accomplish.

In a marketing milieu, making a mark is in itself a herculean task. However, back in the era when the market was filled with the mundane, complex and also difficult to use electronics, for example, those classic black and grey computers with very difficult complex user interfaces and designs, Apple came up with elegant, fascinating yet simple original iMac which was much easier to use and provided a sharp edge to the company instantly. 

If we dwell into the design, Apple ensured precision and perfection at every step from color to features to the smallest of the details. For instance, they encased the computer in translucent plastic which provided a lot of ease to the consumer as they could see the working of the computer as in the motherboard, chips, all the connected wires etc.

There were many more such endearing yet simple features which led the company to stand out in the competitive market.

The Sprint Mission and Vision Statement

In agile product development, a sprint is basically a determined or set period of time during which a particular work has to be finished and made ready for review.

Therefore the sprint mission and vision statement is one of the first things that has to be created and agreed upon by all team members working on a project. 

This is something that should be done at an initial stage of the product life cycle, as it will allow you to identify different sprints and create various stages in between.

After that, the sprint goals are chosen.

Every product team needs to have a sprint mission and vision statement because it helps the team to stay focused on achieving specific goals. 

The mission is about what you want to achieve in the particular sprint. It’s an outcome of your work. 

On the other hand, the vision is a statement that reflects your ambitions and ideas for the product as a whole. It works best if both are kept short so they can be remembered.

It’s difficult to know the mission of the sprint without having a vision for it. That’s because the mission is the immediate goal achieved in a sprint, whereas the vision represents the bigger picture. 

If you don’t know your long-term goals for each sprint, it’s hard to have short-term ones.

What Is the Agile Mission Statement?

The agile mission statement is a short and to-the-point statement that summarizes the whole agile project. This mission statement is one of the first things created in an agile environment. It helps everyone involved in the life cycle and on all levels to understand where they are going and what they need to do for achieving their goals.

As the name suggests, the idea behind agile product management is to encourage the adaptive approach in the planning and implementation of the product management in order to make the feedback process more efficient and responsive.

Therefore, the agile mission statement contains three main parts.

The purpose of the first part is to describe why the product exists and what are the driving forces behind it. It should reflect a clear understanding of requirements and focus on business value. The main rule that you need to keep in mind here is “know your customer”. This statement also explains how this project creates value for customers.

The second part of the agile mission statement is the vision of your project. It should describe what it is all about and where you want to go with this product. This part also contains goals that brief the sense of direction for future development, which will be relatively stable during the implementation process.

The third part of the agile mission statement is the strategy. It should describe the approaches you will take. Moreover, it also demonstrates the priority of your approaches and which ones are more important than others.

The mission statement helps a team understand how they apply agile methods to what they do. The purpose of a mission statement is to focus on business value, customers and continuous improvement for better quality products.

Without having a mission statement in agile, it’s hard to realize the goal shared by everyone, which affects all team members’ attitudes toward the project.

The following below contains elements that should be considered when making the agile mission statement.

  • A conspicuous product strategy has to be set out.
  • Consumer needs should be properly understood and given the utmost importance.
  • The roadmap for the development and management has to be created in such a way to suit consumer interest and eloquently communicated internally.
  • A continuous prioritizing of features forms a significant part in agile product management.
  • Not just consumer needs and also their experiences has to be pensively monitored and responsive methodology has to be adopted.
  • Eventually the success of the product has to be properly measured. The market needs to be continuously analysed in order to ensure steady growth and better engagement.

What Is an Agile Team Mission Statement?

Contrary to an agile mission statement, an agile team mission statement is a short description of what you do and how you do it.  It focuses on a team’s agile mindset, approach, values, principles, and goals that the team is reaching toward.

The main difference is that the agile team mission statement is one that is specific to the team and their goals. It’s not a mission statement for the company.  It’s also important that team members are aware of their agile team mission statement and how it relates to them, as well as how this mission impacts their day-to-day work.

You can use your agile team mission statement in order to decide what really matters most to each member.

What Are Some Agile Team Mission Statement Examples?

No matter what your team’s mission is, it should be a guiding light for everyone.

It’s important to consider that whatever your agile team mission statement may be, it will likely change over time as the business landscape around you shifts and changes.  

Shifting with them ensures that everyone on the team is pulling in the same direction.

What Is a UX Mission Statement?

A UX mission statement is a declaration of your team’s purpose and intent. It should be broad enough to incorporate all the work that UX designers do without being so broad as to lose any meaning.

Since it’s user experience, a UX mission statement is most concerned with providing as easy of an experience for the user as possible. That ethos of the UX mission statement is then reflected in the product design.

It needs to be broad enough that it can be applied to all of the stakeholders’ goals and focused enough that it has a clear goal in mind. Designers need to constantly assess the balance between a stakeholder’s perspective and their user-centered view by taking into account research, usability testing, and observation. 

Product managers can benefit from having a UX mission statement because it gives a clear picture of the product’s direction and purpose. It helps them prioritize features around a central theme that is based on the experience they want to give users, rather than a specific business goal. 

Having a UX mission statement will get your team focused on creating an awesome user experience for your customers.

UX Mission Statement Examples

Good UX mission statement examples include statements like, “we improve the lives of our customers” or “we create delightful and accessible experiences that empower users.”

Your UX mission statement should communicate your purpose as a company. It should also be compelling enough for others to understand and align with it. To create an excellent UX mission statement, put yourself in users’ shoes.

Conclusion

It’s hard to do anything in the product without knowing what the mission is or having a mission statement. Now that you know what makes for good mission statements, you can use those insights for your product strategy today.

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