Skip to content

Product Goal Canvas

The Product Goal is an objective that you define for your product. A product goal is a measurable, time-bound objective that supports a product’s vision. It defines what a product team wants to accomplish and how it will evaluate its success.

When the Product Vision defines a long-term objective for the product, the Product Goal is a step towards the Product Vision. It is useful to set a Product Goal that is time-bound: for example, a goal that you want to achieve with your product in the next 3 to 6 months. Once you achieve this goal, you can set the next Product Goal for the following 3-6 months period, and so on. This process continues until you have achieved your overall Product Vision.

The Product Goal allows you to do that. In addition, the Product Goal acts as a “guiding light” for your Product Backlog: it helps you to decide what PBIs to add (or remove) to the backlog, and what PBIs to focus on or prioritize, in order to achieve the Product Goal. Any PBIs that does not align to the goal can be removed – and can be re-evaluated at a future stage once you have a new goal. This helps to keep your Product Backlog focused and manageable.

The Product Goal Canvas

When your Product Goal is clear, articulated, and aligned with your key stakeholders, all you need to do is to communicate and share it. The Product Goal Canvas is a collaborative template that you can use to define a Product Goal for your product together with your team or stakeholders.

The canvas is divided in a few sections, each one designed to spark thoughts and insights, and help you refine your goal.

How to use the Product Goal Canvas

The first step to use the Product Goal Canvas is to download it. Then, share the template in Miro (or other collaboration tool) or print it and stick it to a wall for in-person collaboration. Then, gather the people on your team, and start working!

The goal here is not to fill-in all the boxes or find the solution to a puzzle. The goal of this template is to give you the foundational blocks to frame your conversation around the product goal, so that you can define your goal and create alignment within your team. If some elements of the canvas don’t apply, skip them. Use what makes sense for you.

In general, it helps to follow the following steps in the Product Goal Canvas:

Product Goal Canvas - instructions to use

Steps in the Product Goal Canvas

1 – Problem to solve

This sections helps to answer the question “What problem(s) are we trying to solve for our customers or for our business?”

Every successful product initiative starts with a deep understanding of the problem or pain point that the product will try to solve. Hence, by defining a Product Goal it should become clear what problem your product is trying to solve.

2 – Target customers

Your product may be used by a variety of customers over time. For this specific goal, which customers are you focusing one? Who are the customers that are having the problem identified earlier?

3 – Key stakeholders

It could be useful to identify the key stakeholders for your product. You can do this by answering these questions:

Who are the internal stakeholders that you are serving with your product? It could help to be clear on the internal stakeholders that are requesting the product or are supporting it.

Who provides feedback and governance for your product? There could be a set of stakeholders that provide feedback on your work, or provide governance – for example, alignment to regulations, integration within a larger suite of products, or data security rules.

4 – Outcomes

In the end, you are building a product to deliver benefits to your customers, solve their problems or create a new opportunity. What outcomes do you want to deliver to your customers?

Also, you might want to consider the business outcomes that your product will deliver.

These outcomes define the objective that you want to achieve with your product. This is the meat of your Product Goal.

5 – Metrics

Goals are useless unless you have a way to measure if you have achieved them. So, here you want to establish key value metrics that will help you measure if you have delivered the outcomes that your product promised to deliver, or maybe not.

With the metrics, you want to answer the question “What shall we measure and how will we know if we have achieved the outcomes?”.

And also, “What leading indicators define our starting conditions?”

To establish good metrics, you need to know your starting point. If you want to increase revenue by 25%, do you know the revenue today? Without these starting points the metrics become useless and then you don’t have a way to know if you have achieved your goal. Or even worse, you may cheat yourself and bend the results of your product toward an “unspecified goal”.

Instead, be clear about the starting point and the end goal from the beginning.

6 – Risks

In complex work, there are always risks. These are things that may get in the way and prevent you from building the product successfully. For example, the risk that the market changes before you complete your product; the risk that demand is not as strong as expected; or the risk that you may face a difficult technological choice that may derail your product development effort. These are examples, and you may want to look specifically at your product, your company, and your industry to identify possible risks.

 

Once you have identified all the building blocks, it’s time to define your Product Goal.

7 – Product Goal description

Summarize and define your Product Goal so that anyone can understand it.

8 – Timeframe

Define a specific timeframe for this goal. By when will you complete this goal and deliver the outcomes you have promised? Is it over the next 3 months? Or 6 months? Or is there a specific launch date?

 

Download

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name
Would you like to receive updates?