In this episode, coach, consultant, and trainer Anu Smalley shares her 4Ps framework to address a major challenge organizations face today; how to build products customers want and love.


After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • Why a product vision is critically important
  • How to build better teams to deliver products
  • Why learning from the past is often a missed element of success


One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is defining and building great products; those customers really want and will love.

We’re able to build products with high quality, but are they the right products?  One way to help your organization build better products is with the Four P Framework.

The four Ps of product ownership are Product vision, People, Patrons, and the Past.


Product Vision

The product vision is not about what you’re doing to make money.  It’s an aspirational view of how you’re helping your customers.  It explains why your product exists.

The best product visions are sustained, brief, and clear statement that tells us what we stand for; the intention behind the product.

An example is Disney’s product vision – To Make People Happy.  It’s not how they will create this outcome, it’s what outcome they’re trying to achieve.

The product vision is the North Star or guiding light for the team.  It helps keep everyone aligned to achieving a specific outcome for our customers and make good decisions.



The people component refers to the team that comes together to build and deliver the product.  To be successful, we need to make sure we have the right people in the right roles.

To build the right team, we need to provide purpose, alignment, and context.  A sense of purpose provides people with a meaningful reason behind what they do.  It’s something that matters to them.

Alignment means that everyone on the team is focused on achieving the product vision.

The people on the team must also have a shared context to march toward the same goal.

Having a team with purpose, alignment, and context engages the hearts and minds of the entire team.



Our patrons refers to our customers.  It’s the reason why our product exists.  Your product vision needs to be based on customer needs as well.

Without a focus on our customers, we’ll create products no one wants.  Start with the customer and discover what problems they have and whether or not you can solve that problem.


The Past

We need to understand our past and learn from it.  When we ignore our past, it’s likely we’ll run into problems.

Past success does not predict future success.


The job of Product Owners is to build the right products at the right time for the right people.


Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply the for Ps and build better products for your customers.



Review your product vision.  Update it (or create it) with the team and stakeholders so that it’s brief, sustaining, clear, and aligned to a customer need.



Links Mentioned in This Episode

Anu Smalley

Anu Smalley

Capala Consulting Group, LLC

Anu Smalley is the President and Founder of Capala Consulting Group, LLC where she specializes in Executive coaching and Agile Transformations. She is also an Enterprise Agile Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer® providing education, coaching, and consulting services to clients across the United States. Anu speaks frequently at conferences both nationally and internationally on Product Ownership and Group Facilitation Techniques.


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