Why your product team needs a manifesto

I recently got the product team at Medeo to agree on our 6 “product principles” that guide how we build products. We got them printed to put on our walls. These principles have become our manifesto.

Medeo Product Principles 2

Bring your thinking together

Everyone has an opinion about the product - it’s usually the product that attracted them to work at the company in the first place - and everyone feels they are on some level (or think they understand) the target customer.

I’ve been in many heated and deadlocked decisions - you want the debate and the arguments, but you want everyone on board at the end.

Here’s what I learned: almost everyone’s opinion is correct, we’re just arguing the order of things. Anyone can agree that the product needs to be easy to use, it needs to be secure, that we listen to customer feedback etc. No one would disagree that we want those things! It’s just that some people would argue (in some cases) that one thing is more important than the other.

Medeo Product Principles 1

Standing behind your principles

Creating a set of product principles gets everyone on the same page. We now have a much clearer picture of what we believe in and what is important to us as a team.

It is extremely important to take prioritization seriously— you should get the team to agree on the specific ordering. Most to least important. Every time we disagree about a new feature we can point to our product principles and say that we agreed it’s more important the product be “this” over “that”.

The principles are not a list of features, and they’re also not specific to one product - instead they act as a basis and inspiration for any future products we build. Also, product principles are great for anyone looking to join our team. They can immediately understand what we believe in just by looking at our principles displayed on the wall.

Medeo Product Principles 3