Working on my backwards walk: the art of retracing your steps

Working on my backwards walk: the art of retracing your steps

Jumping into any project face first without a plan is risky, but to do it with your project strategy is less than ideal. It can waste time and resources, so today is all about learning to walk backwards.

Working backwards from your end goal is a proven method for creating an effective product strategy. In this approach, you define the outcome first, and then work your way back to understand the steps needed to achieve it.

Product strategy

As we all know by now, your product strategy should be a clear and robust plan for how to create and market a product or service that meets audience needs and drives business growth.

However, what tends to get lost in translation (or something like that) is where to start. Often, we’ll see teams try and execute a strategy before making one (yeah, work that one out). Or, they’ll spend oodles of time and resources trying to figure out where to start and plotting a roadmap.

The truth is, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. When creating your product strategy, it’s critical to start with the end goal in mind so that you can align your efforts with what you want to achieve.

Working backwards can help you identify the KPIs and milestones along the roadmap that you need to hit to reach your goal. By defining success metrics upfront, you can better measure progress and adjust your strategy as needed to stay on track.

Get where you’re going

Working backwards can help you identify potential roadblocks or challenges that might prevent you from reaching your goal, such as market challenges or new competitors. By seeing these roadblocks coming, you can be proactive in your approach to mitigate them and ensure a smoother roadmap.

This way, you can also prioritise your strategies and tactics – so you can focus on the most critical actions first and allocate the necessary resources ahead of time.

Further, by knowing where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, you can communicate the strategy far more effectively to stakeholders and the wider team. Ideal for aligning the team and working towards the same goal.

That’s all, folks

So there you have it, a bitesize explanation of why working on your backward walk is a far more effective way of making a product strategy than just diving in face first.

By starting with the end goal in mind, you can create an effective roadmap that helps you navigate the path to success and avoid potential pitfalls along the way. This should help you prioritise, measure, and communicate on your journey to success.

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