Earning stakeholder buy-in on my product vision

Building onto the product vision with a feature brief

Jumping into the final product management assignment, I had already sized my application with a developer and created a product roadmap for the trimmed down version of my wireframes. Now, it was time to bring that roadmap into a compelling vision for the user and for the company.

With my product manager hat on, I revisited the guiding research for my banking application, refined behavioral insights, and outlined how these findings could serve as the foundation for the app’s prioritized features.

Crafting a narrative from a rocky foundation

The big snag here was…we didn’t exactly conduct ethnographic research for our banking app. I had, however, spent a couple hours on the phone with Amela, a woman who came to the US as a refugee from Bosnia when she was 14 years old. She also works at one of nine resettlement agencies in the US, so she provided wonderful color on the transition from both a personal and tactical side.

Inspired once again by the idea of addressing the US’ refugee population, I dove into my old research and extracted three key insights:


From these insights, I identified three design pillars to guide the creation of my app.

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Takeaway: Justifying the development process without user research feels unnatural. Ethnographic research adds so much more depth to the product decisions.

Takeaway: Grounding design pillars in research redirected my focuses for the roadmap activity.

My pillars were previously inclusivity, security, and simplicity. While the two sets share some commonalities, my roadmap no longer felt like it fit my objectives as well as it had before. Its overall priorities were in line, but the granular elements of each section are where I may want to rethink my feature ordering.

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Takeaway: Keep a consistent vision throughout the product creation process.

Working the refugee angle at this point felt too late – I couldn’t properly do it justice. In some respects, this brief would have been more successful had I stuck to the vision that drove last week’s artifact.

Nevertheless, the design pillars and high-level roadmap still work together nicely, mapping to each other throughout the build.

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Showcasing Unique Value

The final section of the feature brief is reserved for showcasing the important elements that will set my bank apart. Particularly important for my design pillars are internationalization, profile alerts, sending money with Zelle, and the Fortune future payment analysis. In the feature brief,  these features all have their core components and value drivers listed next to them.

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These will be  effective for helping stakeholders  see my vision as something more concrete. It starts to ground the insights and diagrams into an imaginable reality.

The full PDF of the feature brief lives here, if you would like to read it from end-to-end.

What’s Next

Next, I would love to challenge and refine my research about refugees. I know there is SO much more for me to learn from them.

More research could potentially push a meaningful shift in my product roadmap, which would feel intimidating, but may ultimately yield a new, much more effective approach for my vision.