The Product Roadmap is a common source of truth that describes a product’s vision, course, goals and progress over time. It is an action plan that aligns the company with the short-and long-term objectives of the product or project and how they will be accomplished.
Although it’s popular for the Roadmap to show what you are creating, it’s just as important to show why. Roadmap elements should be specifically related to your product plan, and your Roadmap should be sensitive to shifts in consumer feedback and competitive environment.
Products owners use the roadmaps to work with their teams to create a consensus about how the product can evolve and change over time. Agile teams turn to the Roadmap to keep everyone on the same page and create a context for their daily work and future course.
Who are the Roadmap for?
Road maps come in a number of different ways and represent a wide range of audiences:
Internal Roadmap for the Development Team: These Roadmaps can be created in a variety of ways, depending on how the team wants to function. Some common versions provide information on the priority value of the customer to be delivered, target release dates and milestones. Because many development teams use agile methodologies, these roadmaps are also structured by sprints, displaying specific pieces of work and problem areas plotted on a timeline.
Internal Roadmap for Executives: these Roadmaps emphasize how the work of teams supports high-level organizational priorities and indicators. They are often grouped by month or quarter to demonstrate progress over time towards these goals, and usually provide less information on detailed development stories and tasks.
Internal Sales Roadmap: these Roadmaps concentrate on new features and consumer advantages to help sales conversations. Important note: avoid using difficult dates in the sales roadmaps to avoid binding internal teams to potentially impossible dates.
External Roadmap: These Roadmaps are meant to excite consumers about what’s coming next. Make sure they’re visually pleasing and easy to read. They can have a high-level, generalized view of new functionality and prioritized problem areas in order to get consumers involved in the potential direction of the product.
Why am I expected to build a product roadmap?
The main advantage of the Product Roadmap is the strategic vision it provides to all stakeholders. The Roadmap aligns wider product and business priorities with growth efforts that align teams with shared goals for developing successful products.
For organizational leadership, the Roadmap offers information on the status of work and “translates” developer activities in Jira to non-technical terms and formats that are easily understood.
For product owners and managers, the Roadmap unifies teams working on high impact product improvements and helps them to communicate goals efficiently with neighboring teams.
For developers themselves, the Roadmap offers a clearer understanding of the big picture” that helps team members to concentrate on the most important tasks, avoid scope and make simple, autonomous decisions.
How do I create a product roadmap?
Product owners should address business trajectories, proposals for consumer value, strategic priorities and effort constraints in order to construct a roadmap. Once these considerations are known, the owner of the product will collaborate with his team to prioritize projects and epics on the Roadmap.
The quality of the Roadmap may rely on its audience-a Roadmap for the Development Team can cover just one product, while a Roadmap for Executives may cover several items. Depending on the size and nature of the company, different teams working on the same product can have a single roadmap. An external roadmap can also cover several items associated with a single point of focus or consumer needs.
The most critical takeaway: build a roadmap that can be easily grasped by your audience. Providing too much or too little detail on the Roadmap can make it easy to skim over, or worse, too daunting to read. A road map with just the right amount of detail and some visual appeal will allow the buy-in you need from key stakeholders.
Presentation of the Product Roadmap
The Product Roadmap requires buy-in from two main groups: the leadership team and the agile development team. Presenting the Roadmap is a perfect opportunity to show key stakeholders that you understand the strategic goals of the business, the needs of your customer, and have a strategy to satisfy all of them.
As you progress through the project, make sure you connect your team’s work back to the road map to create a sense. A tried-and-tested method: break down the initiatives into epics in the product backlog, then further decompose them into specifications and user stories. Establishing this problem hierarchy makes it easier for product owners and development teams to make decisions and understand how their work fits into the wider picture.
Use and refresh the Roadmap
As competitive environment changes, consumer tastes adapt or planned features change, it is crucial to ensure that the product roadmap continues to represent both the status of current work and the long-term objectives.
The Roadmap should be updated as much as necessary-it may be every week or every fortnight-so that it can remain a true source of reality. As we’ve all learned at one time or another, a roadmap is counter-productive if it’s not up to date. You will know if your roadmap needs to be changed more often and your clients will start calling you for feedback instead of checking your roadmap. These one-off requests reflect a lack of faith in your roadmap and a massive potential time for sucking.
On the other hand, though, you do not want to spend more time reviewing the roadmap than is required to achieve harmony between stakeholders and within your team. Note, the Roadmap is a strategy method to think about how to create better items. If you spend time reviewing your Roadmap that you might (and should) spend on execution, think about changing your Roadmap Method to something simpler.
Good Practices for Best Roadmap
Building and managing product roadmaps is an ongoing task to be conducted for the team. There are a few easy ways to make yourself a success:
- Just provide as much information as is appropriate for your audience
- Keep the Roadmap equally based on short-term strategies and how they contribute to long-term objectives
- Check the roadmaps on a regular basis and make changes as plans change
- Make sure that everybody has access to the Roadmap (and checks it on a regular basis)
- Stay linked to stakeholders at all levels to ensure alignment