When it comes to any product or service launch, you need a comprehensive product plan, including product goals, to help ensure success. Creating a product strategy can seem daunting at first, so we’ve put together a product planning, strategy and goals guide to help.
What is a product plan?
A product plan is a broad term that encompasses all the internal steps required to launch a product, as well as the external factors that can dictate price, distribution and demand. A product plan includes everything from the initial market research and design to improving a product and making product planning an ongoing process.
Managing your product post-launch requires a product plan too. Your plan can be used to respond to any challenges during the lifetime of your product, for example. Product planning also involves the consideration of your target market, you can make predictions based on customers’ wants and needs.
In summary, a product plan is the overall logistics of available resources, finances and schedules.
What's a product strategy?
There are overlaps with the product plan, however a product strategy isn’t just about setting objectives but also the product deliverables. Think of a product plan as more of an overview of everything, internal and external, while a product strategy is more internal and focuses on HOW. How will your product get where it needs to be? A product strategy co-ordinates the product plan into an actionable process to achieve your product goals.
What are product goals?
Product goals are the key elements you want your product to achieve. Product goals need to be measurable, so you can see if your product was successful. You will usually have a number of product goals as they are essential stepping stones to ensuring your product achieves what you want it to. Think of product goals as a KPI (key performance indicator). They allow you and your investors to see how your product is doing.
Product goals should have a time frame and go hand-in-hand with the product planning process as this timescale enables you and your team to stay on track and see where you are as a whole into the strategy.
How to create a product plan
Although every product plan differs depending on the market sector and countless other variables, there are vital steps each and every product plan must follow:
- Vision - what is your product or service? What do you need from your product? Why is this product necessary? Who benefits? This can be helpful for the pitching process too.
- Customer specifics - your product plan needs to be thorough so delve into the specific requirements. Sales and marketing departments are usually helpful for this area of the planning process as they can provide an insight into customer needs, expectations and wants. The importance of customer assessment cannot be overlooked during the planning process. You can reach out to customers directly to receive feedback and perspective.
- Market research - it’s essential to know your competitors, current market trends and consumer behaviour. You can also highlight opportunities by what your competitors are lacking and identify their strengths too. Prepare for any potential challenges as well as positive opportunities. Why not use a SWOT analysis?
- Assign - from responsibilities to a timeframe, you need to delegate who is doing what and create a clear schedule for everyone to follow.
- Test - testing your product prior to launch is vital. You can identify improvements and let a small control group test it out, you can collect feedback and make the necessary changes.
- Launch and product cycle - the big day is finally here but your product planning isn’t over yet. Feedback post launch can lead to product adjustments and, as your product ages, you will need to re-evaluate your product plan and product strategy. From technological advancements to responding to consumer trends, a continuous review is essential to the longevity of any product.
Product plan and strategy examples
Our extensive range of product strategy templates encompass everything from eye-catching infographics to detailed timelines. Take a look at a selection of our templates below:
This Product Strategy Hexagon Timeline template is ideal for product managers to communicate major milestones and visions of their product development process. From the offering of your product to revenue, you can clearly present the key elements of the strategy for your product. Whilst adding more information in the subsequent slides to detail each key aspect. If you want more timeline examples, view all our timeline templates.
This single slide Circular Product Strategy template is perfect for clearly and simply showing the interconnections between five steps your strategy will follow. The template can be used for business planning or as part of your business model canvas to showcase the key phases of your project or strategy plan.
For a larger and more detailed strategy plan, you should consider our 8 Step Circular Product Development template. This diagram clearly illustrates the key steps in your product plan, designed to help to explain and present an entire project strategy from planning and development to its marketing strategy.
Got a long-term product strategy? Take a look at our 5 Year Strategic Plan template. This template displays industry trends and business visions across a 5-year timeline. The versatility of this strategy timeline means it can be used for a whole range of analysis and presentations.
All our product strategy templates are easily editable, view the range today and find clear and effective ways to present your product plans and strategies.