Product Goal



Stage 2

Agile IQ® Level






“Product Goals are measurable stepping stones designed to push the threshold of knowledge towards our Product Vision.” — Product Samurai

What is the Product Goal?

One of the more challenging aspects of Product Management. Product Goals are the chief mechanism that helps Product Owners create a tangible relationship between the work we do today and the business strategy. 


Where the Business Vision is often holistic and describes a moonshot, the Business Strategy serves to make that more concrete:

  • How are we going to achieve this?
  • What are our goals for the next 6 quarters? next quarter?
  • What does success look like?

Many companies use Objective and Key Results (OKRs), Key Result Areas (KRAs)  or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to forecast and set business goals.

Akin to that, Product Goals provide measurable guidance towards the Product Vision. If your company only has a single product or service, these will be very much alike. Product goals connect the work on the Product, (as recorded in the Product Backlog,) to the Product Vision.

Elements of a good Product Goal

  • They are set, meaning actually written down not just verbally passed on –  SMART or INVEST.
  • Product Goals are stepping stones towards the Product Vision. Scrum Teams and stakeholders can “see” how they connect.
  • Market driven, not Product Backlog driven. Product Goals are a result of responding to emerging market conditions rather than an abstraction of work.
  • They are achievable. This is where many of the OKR goals go off the rails. Stretched goals are a great way to grow but often teams simply don’t see themselves getting there. Make sure your goals can be achieved.
  • They can be measured. The EBM framework provides some excellent metrics as do Pirate or HEART metrics.
  • They are ordered, but I would go even further and suggest  “The Highlander Rule.” Focus means that a product team should only be pursuing a single goal at the time. 
  • They communicate intent and not solution. It is better to talk about problems to solve than work to do.

Connect the Sprint Goal to the Product Goal

Each Sprint Goal should contribute some value, a step, toward the Product Goal. Metrics from Evidence Based Management (EBM) will help Product Owners to see the impacts they're making and provide evidence that their investments of the team's time is making the difference the business strategy asks for.

Creating a good Product Goal

  • Set Product Goals together, leveraging the collective knowledge of the group but also as a first step towards acceptance and sharing of the goals.
  • Make sure you communicate the Product Vision before talking about goals, make sure we all have the same North Star. 
  • Focus discussions using “the lens of the Product Manager”.

Applying The Lens of a Product Manager


Who are we building this for?


What problem does it solve for them?


What proof do we have for this?


Why do we care?


What assunmptions do we have?


How will we measure the change in persona behaviour and the impact we have when we solve this problem?


One Product Goal at a time

A Product Owner may have multiple objectives, but the product overall should have only one goal at a time. This provides focus for the team. If the goal is found to be unatainable or the market changes and the goal is no longer relevant or valuable, then it's time to set a new Product Goal.


Lukassen, C. (2020) Product Goal. Online at:

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