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Linear Method

Set the product direction

Setting direction is one of the most important things you’ll do when building a product and company. A clear direction aligns everyone to work toward the same goals. It helps individuals make daily decisions, teams prioritize projects, and all members of your organization feel motivated toward a shared purpose. Without direction, it’s harder to work together, know what to focus on, and make meaningful progress.

Initiatives are a critical tool for shaping this direction. The process of creating initiatives and mapping out a product journey forces you to articulate a vision and decide how to build toward it. The culminating product timeline sets a path of execution for the near future, slightly in front of you, and ideally a bit out of reach. Anyone in your company can look at the product initiatives to quickly understand what the most important streams of work are, why they matter, and how they are progressing.

Whether you’re part of a three-person startup or one thousand employee company, a clearly defined set of product initiatives helps you and everyone you work with to make better decisions more quickly and focus on more valuable work. Clear product plans keep teams aligned even when individuals work independently. Ambitious product timelines push people to challenge themselves to do their best work. Visible initiatives motivate individuals by giving them context on why their work matters and create a culture of transparency that builds trust, making collaboration easier and even spurring it serendipitously.