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Visualize the end

I was listening to a talk given by a Product Manager at Amazon on their development process and was impressed by the emphasis on visualizing the end. Although they call it 'Start with the customer and work backwards'.

Product Managers everywhere do this, of course. Without starting with the customer and working backwards, or without visualizing the end, it is quite hard to design any new feature.

But, what I noticed was the level of detail in the visualization.

Amazon PMs are required to write down a press release of the feature as well as an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for a feature before they even start building it. While the press release is a high level value proposition that all good PMs will articulate before building, it's the FAQ that enriches this process a lot.

In order to write the FAQ section, the level of detail needs to be very granular. This forces the PM to visualize the end in as much detail as possible. And paying attention to this level of detail forces a thought process on exactly what needs to be done to get to that end state.

The more clearly we visualize the end state, the more clearly we will define the path to get there.

While this is a great lesson for Product Managers, it is just as applicable to anyone pursuing any goal in their life.

The more clearly you visualize the end, the more clearly you will define the path to get there. And clearer the path, higher the probability that you will not go astray. 

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