Developing a Product Vision

by Humphreys & Associates on June 3, 2019 last modified June 21, 2019

Developing a Product Vission

The agile development cycle relies on an accurate understanding of the customer’s needs and the ability of an organization to rapidly develop innovative solutions that best satisfy those needs. A product vision is the first step to defining what needs will be met through the development of a product solution. It gives the company, development teams and stakeholders a unified direction and a common understanding of the desired outcome. Product vision development includes: Identifying and connecting with your customer’s needs, conceptualizing the product features that satisfy those needs, understanding your main competitor’s product and identifying why your product is favorably different. 

To develop a product vision, it can be helpful to first, “Tell the Story”. The story captures the ideal experience your customer will have while using your product and the difficulties they may encounter with existing product solutions.

Here is an example of a user experience story:

U.S. Navy- MK48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Securing System

Chief Hatch watches as a torpedoman performs routine maintenance in the torpedo room while they are underway in hostile environments. The torpedoman struggles as he and a fellow sailor carry extremely heavy cables that are used for torpedo stowage. Due to their weight and material composition, the cables create sound shorts when they encounter other metallic objects in the torpedo room. It is crucial that the submarine navigates the seas undetected because the primary mission on submarines is counter-detection. The frequency of sound shorts, due to inefficient stowing, has been a problem for the submarine force since its inception.

Chief Hatch thought about the number of injuries that had occurred just this past year as a direct result of the current MK48 ADCAP securing system and stowage procedures. The desired solution would be a lightweight, equally strong system that would allow for maintenance to be performed safely by a single torpedoman. Ideally, the material composition would minimize sound shorts, allow for easier maneuverability and substantially decrease the amount of space required to stow and handle cables.

From the above example, it becomes clear that the current MK48 ADCAP securing system is compromising the stealth requirements of the mission and is creating a safety hazard for sailors at sea. The customer’s desired outcome in this story is a safe, easy to use, lighter and more discrete securement system.

The next step in creating a Product Vision is to create personas for your primary and secondary customers. These personas will help you capture what is most important or valuable to your customer.

Primary Persona: Chief Hatch

Torpedoman, Chief Petty Officer, Senior Enlisted, 38 years old

Persona Description:

“Chief Hatch believes that a nimbler and easier to use securement system will allow for smoother and more efficient weapons handling, increased sound silencing, mission stealth and a safer crew.” 

Chief Hatch has been on submarines for 18 years. He has watched as weapons have been updated and modernized throughout his career, except for the torpedo handling gear. He is frustrated with the excessive weight of the archaic securement system, especially when it results in crew injuries.


  • Chief Hatch wants to update the archaic MK48 ADCAP Securing System with a light-weight, easier to use stowage system without compromising: strength, stability or efficiency.


  • Chief Hatch believes his junior sailors would have a higher retention rate and fewer safety related injuries if they had a lighter more efficient method of stowage in the torpedo room.

Pain Points:

  • The current securement system straps and heavy material composition creates a cumbersome holding mechanism that often results in fatigue, neck injuries and damaged equipment from improper stowage.
  • Multiple sailors are needed to stow, pivot-load or re-stow a torpedo resulting in strain on the current workforce.

Secondary Persona: Lieutenant Marks

Weapons Officer, 30 years old

Persona Description:

“My best days are when I have 100% weapons readiness, all periodic maintenance and weapons handling has been completed safely and on time and I have received no complaints for faulty equipment or poor storage practices.”

Lieutenant Marks has been in service for eight years and is most frustrated when poorly maintained or out of date equipment must be reused to maintain weapons readiness. To Lieutenant Marks a lighter cable with the same strength rating means, easier to maintain weapons readiness and happier sailors.


  • Lieutenant Marks wishes to maintain physical readiness in the Torpedo room.
  • She also wants to increase efficiency, safety and technical readiness using modern stowing equipment.


  • Lieutenant Marks is motivated by personal standing in the command, squadron and group.

Pain Points:

  • Lack of material readiness as a result of outdated or overused equipment. 
  • Failed or degrading equipment due to poor maintenance and improper handling. 

Now that you better understand the desired user experience and what is most important to your customer, think about the following questions when you build your product vision.

  1. Who will use your product or service?
  2. What do they need out of the product or service?
  3. What is the product you are developing?
  4. What category does it fit into?
  5. Why should your customer buy this product or service?
  6. What is your competitor’s product?
  7. What sets your product apart from the competitor?

Here is an example of a product vision developed from the above steps:

ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Securing System Product Vision

FOR: “The U.S. Navy”

WHO: “Need a more efficient, reliable and lighter means of securing weaponry.”

THE: “Mark 48 ADCAP Securing System”

IS A: “Modernized Weapon Securing System”

THAT: “Allows for fast stowing and easy handling while pivot tube loading and re-stowing heavyweight torpedo”

UNLIKE: “The current heavy gauge rubber coated straps with rigid metal ends”

OUR PRODUCT: “Provides lightweight handling, increased material strength and improved flexibility resulting in easier stowage and handling.”

STRATEGY: “Replace fleet wide Navy weapon straps on all existing and future classes of submarines”

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