Working Backwards From A Fake Press Release

I've recently become involved with figuring out the vision for a significant new product capability. This idea has excited many colleagues with the possibilities of our successful experiment. However, as there are many competing ideas and overlapping viewpoints, it's become evident that arriving early at a conscious will be crucial.

To help find an acceptable middle ground for everyone, I decided to try a different technique and confirm our ideas, creating a shared understanding. I wrote a fake press release to describe what we'd like to announce at the launch. Initially, this was a slightly daunting task, but after reading Matty Ford's blog post from 2014, I found the concept of working backwards very straightforward. The provided template helped me capture the essential information and organise my thoughts. I was also encouraged to try the technique after learning it's been tried and tested by Amazon.

I found the concept of working backwards really helpful and recommend experimenting with it yourselves. It cut downs the waffle and focused on what was important to share with the reader. Where we find agreement, we'll have a shared vision which will become our Minimal-Viable-Product or Skateboard Version.

Where your stakeholders and development team find unacceptable gaps, you should thoroughly discuss those concerns. The benefit of a fake press release is you can iterate on content with your stakeholders until you find a shared agreement. This experience allowed us to focus on the intended destination upfront. From there, we began working backwards a la Amazon. Similarly, you could go through the same process of trimming the fat to find a lean deliverable.

I hope you experiment with this idea for yourself and find it helpful.