What is the product goal?

Bridging Vision and Action: The Art of Crafting Product Goals

Following a visionary path in product development is akin to charting a course through unexplored territory. The end goal—a vision—may sometimes seem distant or even slightly out of reach. To navigate this journey, one needs more than just a map; they need waypoints that guide and measure progress. These waypoints are what we call product goals.

The Role of Product Goals

Stepping Stones to Vision

Product goals serve as tangible, actionable milestones that bridge the gap between the strategic horizon of a product vision and the day-to-day tactical operations. They offer a roadmap for the product team, delineating clear objectives that are achievable in the near term while contributing to the long-term vision.

Tangibility and Value

By being both tangible and valuable, product goals fill what is often referred to as the “product management vacuum.” This vacuum exists in the space between overarching strategy and ground-level tactics, where the absence of clear direction can lead to inefficiency or drift. Product goals anchor the team’s efforts in a coherent strategy that drives towards the vision.

Crafting Effective Product Goals

The Three Essential Elements

A well-defined product goal encompasses three critical elements:

  1. Product Goal Statement: A concise sentence that encapsulates the goal. It provides a clear target for the team to aim for.
  2. Narrative: The story behind the goal. This narrative explains why the goal is essential, the context surrounding it, and how it propels the team closer to the overarching vision. It addresses the problems being solved, the learning opportunities, and the impact on the product journey.
  3. Expected Outcome and Measurement: This element defines what success looks like for the goal and how it will be measured. It’s crucial for determining whether the goal has been achieved and for learning from both successes and failures.

A Collaborative Process

Creating product goals is not a solitary task. It requires collaboration with stakeholders and the entire Scrum team. This inclusive approach ensures that the goals are aligned with both the needs of the business and the capabilities of the development team. It fosters buy-in and shared ownership of the product’s direction.

The Product Goal Canvas

To facilitate the creation of effective product goals, following a structured framework can be immensely helpful. One such tool is the “Product Goal Canvas,” a guide that outlines the steps for defining and articulating goals. This canvas helps teams systematically break down their vision into actionable objectives, ensuring that each goal is well thought out and directly contributes to the product’s long-term success.


Product goals are the milestones that make the journey towards a visionary product achievable. They provide clarity, direction, and a measure of progress for the entire team. By carefully crafting these goals with a focus on clarity, relevance, and measurability, teams can navigate the complex landscape of product development with confidence. They ensure that every step taken is a step closer to realizing the product vision, turning grand aspirations into tangible successes.

About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all #scrum.org certified courses.

If you’re looking to invest in training that transforms and empowers teams to successfully adopt #scrum or #agile, and create high-performance #productdevelopment environments leveraging the agile values and principles, visit our Professional Scrum Training page.

If you would like to work with Ralph and company as an #agilecoach, #agileconsultant, or powerful change agent to get your team back on track and on the road to high-performance #agile #productdevelopment, connect with Ralph Jocham.

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