Importance of Vision Statements in Scrum

When a Development Team first forms they go through a series of Agile Events to get going. Something that is often overlooked is a product vision statement. The Product Owner should make sure the team has a clear understanding of their vision. A good Scrum Master will regularly check in with the team to make sure they are working toward the Vision Statement.

Importance of Vision Statements in Scrum

Defining the Vision Statement

Definition of a Vision Statement is a future based look at where the team should be heading.  Think of the Vision Statement as the 10,000-foot pitch, that elevator pitch you would make about what the product is, what it will do, and how it will be accomplished.

Why Have a Vision Statement?

The Vision Statement is the guiding light of the project.  When a Development Team sits down to execute on the Product and even specific Sprint Backlog items, in the back of their mind they will be thinking about the Vision Statement and how to meet it.

The statement should inspire the development team and rally them together. It should paint a picture of a better future and should cause the team to be excited to build that future.

Creating the Vision Statement

The creation of the Vision Statement falls on the hands of the Product Owner.  The Product Owner has the task of understanding the project from top to bottom.  They are responsible for communicating the ideas of the stakeholders, customers, the Development Team, and Scrum Master.  The Product Owner is the central source for everyone to know what is a priority in the effort and exactly how that priority delivery takes place.

When creating the Vision Statement the Product Owner will likely lean on key stakeholders to help develop it. Creating a Vision Statement is usually done by answering a few critical objectives of the project.  These include answering common questions.

  1. What is the goal and/or business value of the product?

  2. Who will use the product?

  3. Why does the customer need this product?

  4. How will it compare to other similar products in the market?

  5. What differentiates this product and makes it unique?

After answering these questions, you should be able to craft the Vision Statement.

What the Vision Statement Looks Like

Ideally, a vision would be boiled down to one sentence or shorter.  The basic template to help you in this effort that most use initially is below:

For (target customer)

Who (statement of need or opportunity)

The (product name) is a (product category)

That (what is the key benefit or reason to buy)

Unlike (competitor)

Our product (primary differentiation statement)

Once completed, your vision statement will give employees a general understanding of the organization’s path forward and inspire action. Our Agile coaches and Product Owner classes can help teach you and your organization how best to make Vision Statements.