Goal discovery is the key to a kickass product strategy. Here are the 3 types of goals you should know about.

Goal discovery is the key to a kickass product strategy. Here are the 3 types of goals you should know about.

Goal discovery is the first step in creating alignment in a business.

This drives a certain type of outcome that avoids the dilemma of a feature factory - ie: feature bloat. Alignment drives quick decision-making as I have covered previously in this guide.

The size and complexity of a business drive the types of goals and ways of working.

  • Startups are much simpler to navigate.
    However as an organization grows in size and complexity, this gets harder.
  • In medium to large businesses defining these via discovery workshops can bring about alignment.

Purpose of the guide

Help product teams understand the importance of goal setting and the 3 key types of goals that can drive alignment in an organization in product strategy.

Part 1 - The stakeholders & 3 types of goals

In order to run discovery on goals, working with stakeholders is key.

In the part 2 guide on discovery which I wrote for Airfocus Product Learn - link, I went into the detailed steps on how this fits into a wider discovery process.

I split these goals under 3 banners which lay across business needs and customer needs to ensure sufficient coverage of stakeholders' needs.

  • Business Goals
  • Strategic Goals
  • Product Goals

The logic behind splitting these is to ensure that while covering problem and solution discovery in product management we ensure that the product goals align with the business goals.

All too often they are not aligned.

This is normally where the team is then treated as a "Rogue" team. This can create a toxic and unsafe workplace and push further command and control behavior on teams.

Product teams must learn to work with business stakeholders to cover their business needs and ensure they align with what the product is doing for customers.

Business Goals

Think of the longer-term goals to achieve a particular business vision. This can get fluffy.

In the example in the image, to “enable exploration to all of Australia's real estate in one click,” the platform has to gain a particular market share for listings. This platform will need a specific share valuation to secure more funding to invest in development and growth.

This requires business leaders – usually the founder to work with the CPO and CMO to drive business strategy to increase valuation.

Strategic Goals

These strategic moves are required to ensure the business goals are achieved. They can be long and short-term, depending on complexity and when they will be tactically executed.

Strategic goals tend to sit at a portfolio level and can be over a number of different products.

Product Goals

These are customer-centric goals that help achieve the strategic goals. They are generally driven through product discovery.

ie: To determine your product goals, we need to run continuous discovery to help determine what really makes the shift in engagement and ultimately revenue.

Product teams should drive product goals through their discovery processes.

In the below image, I show a brief example of the systematic view of these goals.

Part 2 - The challenges

It is worth noting that the key challenge when conducting discovery is disclosure.

Just like many customers, senior stakeholders keep their cards very close to their chests.

This is where building trust and educating them on why you need to understand the goals to drive product strategy and set product goals that help achieve those business goals.

This behavior automatically helps create an environment of empowerment and involvement.

Concluding this guide, I also covered how to run the goal discovery in the Product Discovery – A Product Managers Guide on Discovery Processes in Product Development - Part 2

From that guide the key steps to remember

  • Continuously link the analysis of the hypotheses through experiments to our business goals helps us make better decisions & deliver features that add value.
  • Always reassess your OKRs / Goals to the expected outcomes by reviewing the experiments' results.
  • Re-align your OKRs or Goals based on the outcomes of those experiments.
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