A product perspective on the vision and mission of the organization

Binoy Chemmagate
3 min readNov 2, 2019

As a product manager, you often come across this question from your team; “Why should we work on this feature?”. You would then pull up your sleeves and showcase those awesome user stories to convince your team. The team delivers and life goes on. Sometimes you hear questions such as “How does this feature fit into the vision and mission of the organization?”. Now, you need to be extremely careful while answering this question as it threatens the future of the feature itself.

Before we jump into the details, let’s brush up on some basics. The very first time I heard the concept of vision and mission statements was during my undergraduate degree. At the time, I did not pay so much attention but I learned the importance of those two after entering the product management role.

What is a vision statement?

In simple words, a vision statement describes how you would make the world or a community a better place with your business. The vision statement can be altruistic or it might not be achievable but it does give a positive message to the world or a community. Organizations usually do not change their vision statements very often.

Let’s look at some of the vision statements.

Google — “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”

Tesla — “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”

Microsoft — “To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.”

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement describes the day-to-day actions of your business to achieve the vision. What are you doing, who are your customers, and how are you serving your customers, etc. Mission statements change once in a while to adapt to a certain strategy or a transition, unlike the vision statement.

Let’s look at some of the mission statements.

Google — “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Tesla — “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”

Microsoft — “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Did you notice the difference between vision and mission statements?

The original discussion

Every employee should be aware of both the vision and mission of the organization. A product manager should be able to answer how a certain feature is aligned with the organization’s mission and vision.

Example: An online yoga learning platform

Let’s imagine that your organization runs an online yoga learning platform and your organization’s vision and mission statements are as follows.

Vision — “To build a world where every individual has a healthy mind and body”

Mission — “To make high quality yoga classes affordable and accessible to all”

Let’s say you want to introduce a feature, a star rating system for all the yoga teachers on your platform where the end-users can rate the yoga teachers. When you bring this feature request to your team and if the question comes up (or doesn’t) “how does this feature align with our mission and vision”, you have the answer right in your mission statement. The rating system would help in maintaining a good set of teachers on your platform essentially delivering high-quality yoga classes. Even if nobody asks this question, explaining how the star rating system contributes to the mission and vision motivates the team. The team would enjoy being part of a greater effort than delivering “just another” feature.

The vision and mission statements should be reiterated as many times as possible within the team so that every feature/project would contribute to the mission and brings us closer to the vision.

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Binoy Chemmagate

Been working in the ICT industry for more than a decade. Passionate about networking, WebRTC, and product management. Former product guy @ callstats.io, Zalando