Strategic Context

Business Strategy etc providing context for tactical decisions.

Martin Cagan on Coaching - Strategic Context. Ensuring the product manager has the necessary understanding of the broader business context in which her team is operating.

Normally the strategic context is part of the onboarding for any new product manager joining the organization.

I don't see the actual Business Strategy below. Perhaps he thinks it's the union of all the Product Strategys? Or maybe his context is with more-established companies whose strategy isn't being discussed, and is operationalized into its Scorecard. Whereas in early-stage Product Management from MVP to Product-Market Fit the business strategy is much less clear, and a pivot might be needed.

Martin Cagan: Generally, there are six types of strategic context: (2020-01-09) Cagan Coaching Strategic Context

  • Company Mission
    • purpose
    • why we are here.
    • usually lasting for a decade or more, if not the life of the company.
  • Company Scorecard
    • set of key performance indicators (KPI’s)
    • referred to here as the company scorecard, and sometimes as the company dashboard
  • Company Objectives
    • focused on for this year
    • for each of these areas of improvement, there are typically specific business targets the company hopes to achieve (the key results). (OKR, North-Star Metric)
  • Product Vision - shared across teams. (Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas?)
    • Normally the product vision is somewhere between 3 years and 10 years out.
    • The mission may provide the purpose, but it’s the vision that begins to make this tangible.
    • This is what empowered product teams will be figuring out: how to make this vision a reality.
  • Product Strategy - per single product team
    • The product strategy drives the specific work that each product team is intended to tackle
    • we’re no longer discussing the overall strategic context, and we’re now looking at an individual product team,
  • Product Principles (manifesto)
    • values and beliefs
    • So many decisions revolve around trade-offs, and the product principles help to illuminate the values we prioritize when we make these trade-offs.

I'm trying to map these out in terms of time and scope...


In my Triple-Loop Product Management page I compress these to 2 layers/loops. (And add 2 other loops for execution.)

Hmm, is culture orthogonal to this?

I treat this as 1/3 of my agile product development triad: Agility, Context, and Team Agency.

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