Strategic Team Alignment: The Power of a One-Pager [+Webinar]

A white, line box surrounds some text that says "Strategic Team Alignment for Product Teams, Part 1," covering a faded view of a group of employees.

Watch our webinar on-demand, Cultivating a Strategic Product Team, Part 1: The Power of a One-Pager for an in-depth discussion on creating strategic alignment in your team with a Product One-Pager. Download the template free!

In this two-part series, we’ll show Product leaders how to increase the alignment and autonomy of the product teams they work with, freeing up more time to do strategic product work. In Part 1 here, I’ll introduce the power of the Product One-Pager, which succinctly establishes a product’s goals and the boundaries the product team can operate within to achieve these goals. In Part 2, we’ll explain how to more effectively make decisions about product goals, and increase organizational and executive alignment using a Product Review Board process.

Why You Need to Tell the “Whole Story”

Early in my career, I used to work long days attending endless meetings and I put out the proverbial “fires” that stood in front of me. If my company gave an award for working hard, I was going to get it. But other Product Managers seemed to get promoted and get the best assignments. But why?

One secret that I learned from some of these smart PMs was their ability to tell the “whole story” of a product. They had easy answers to questions like:

  • Why are we building the product?
  • Who is the product for?
  • What are the KPIs for the product that would make the product a “success?”

When I adopted this more strategic view of product management and represented the “whole story” of a product, I got promoted and eventually found myself managing Product Managers and interacting with executives. And when I started managing PMs, I created a Product One-Pager template that I used with people on my team to get them to think and act strategically. I would like to share that Product One-Pager with you in the hopes that it will help you in your own PM career.

The Product One-Pager

What’s in it

Here is what should be included and identified in your Product One-Pager:

  • Problem/Opportunity
  • Hypothesis
  • Team Leaders
  • User Story for feature #1, feature #2, and feature #3
  • Biggest Risk
  • Key Features
  • Introduction Date
  • KPIs/ORKs
  • Performance & Security

Download the template here.

Each section above should concisely and succinctly capture the most important details of your next release. Watch our on-demand webinar where I’ll go in-depth on each section and how to leverage it for your team.

What it can do for you

The Product One-Pager is organized to make the Product Manager think through the purpose of the product before development begins. And it also asks the Product Manager to focus on the outcome of the project and not just the output.

As you develop the story of your product, you will better communicate with people inside your company. You will have a story to tell that others want to hear. Others will begin to recognize you as a leader and a PM that is taking your company into the future—yes!

Make your release “newsworthy”

This popular template also enables you to organize quarterly “news-making” events that will focus the development, marketing, and sales efforts around a few key messages and help Product Managers be more strategic. You can also modify the template to best work with your markets and products; you can leverage it to compliment the Lean Canvas and the Agile process, in general.

Next in the series, we’ll discuss how to use the Product One-Pager process to create a lightweight, yet effective roadmap and executive review process that is more efficient than any other I have ever encountered. Stay tuned!

Get Strategic!

Watch our on-demand webinar, Cultivating a Strategic Product Team, Part 1: The Power of a One-Pager, where we looked at each field in the Product One-Page and discussed examples about how Product Managers can use this simple document when creating new products, or when they are planning iterative releases of existing products. Download the template free here.

About the Author

Ken Feehan is a Principal Consultant and Trainer for 280 Group.
Ken has deep experience in both the product development and Go-To-Market phases of the product cycle. He has worked/consulted to hardware, software, cloud, infrastructure and services companies and understands the business needs of each. He has 20+ years of Product Management and Product Marketing experience at top companies like Apple, Intuit, Dolby, Elo Touch and many start-up and small tech companies. Ken has a BS in International Business Management from Notre Dame de Namur University. Ken has a passion for exciting and delighting customers with outstanding products.

280 Group is the world’s leading Product Management training and consulting firm. We empower Product Professionals with the knowledge and tools to create products that matter.

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