Everything you need to know about a Product Roadmap

Peter Martinez updated on 2020-09-25 17:19:49

The product roadmap for many organizations is a unifying factor for the whole company and beyond. For anything that the organization stands for, cares about, and strives for, it acts as a microcosm. Whether you are new to project management or a seasoned product manager who hasn't had to develop a new roadmap in a while, we know that this can be so daunting that you're not sure how to take the first move. It is intense to know that the blueprint you create will ultimately be interpreted, scrutinized, and probably discussed by customers in your industry and maybe even by your clients.

What is a Product Roadmap?

product roadmap

A product roadmap is a high-level visual overview that sets out over time the vision and course of the product offering. For your product, you've got a bold vision. The high-level strategic preparation is completed. Now you need a blueprint on what you are going to deliver and when. It may be the introduction to clients of a new program, changes to an existing one, or even an internal product used by the company. Your product management roadmap details the positive efforts expected to accomplish the ultimate market priorities and the timetable for introducing features and specifications that are consistent with your approach. It can be different from other preparation resources, such as lists of demands for proposals and features, a job backlog, or updates on glitches.

After close analysis and evaluation from the product manager, those materials tell what goes on your roadmap. Evolving Roadmaps. Throughout the product's lifecycle, you can constantly change yours, depending on shifting consumer expectations and market demand. A roadmap is used by forward-thinking product managers as more of a complex compass than a rigid reference. Therefore to envision their plans, many product teams use purpose-built roadmapping tools.

How to Build a Product Roadmap?

You must recognize the market priorities that your activities will help and identify the programs you will engage in to support those goals before developing your product roadmap. Here are the four main steps to create a roadmap:

  • Set the strategy: Strategy is the why' behind what you're trying to build. Set the product strategy, priorities, and initiatives and how they can help overarching market goals. In order to build and retain a strategic edge, a clear product vision captures the essential details that the team must consider. This provides specifics about who your clients are, what they need, and how for your offering you can go to market. Why are you designing this product that prioritizes certain product characteristics for these consumers in this way? You are far more likely to see the roadmap resonate with the partners and receive their approval to continue because you can simply express the why" behind the business approach for your product and do it in a way where the roadmap expresses the vision of how the product can lead to the strategic priorities of the organization.
  • Decide your audience and focus on their needs: This is another pitfall that many managers of goods fall through. They build a single roadmap, often using an improvised roadmap app. That ensures their managers and analysts have the same vision of the roadmap that their engineers see, and they may also share the same roadmap with consumers. For example, you want to see a plan for your executive team that gives them faith that your product can help them accomplish their strategic goals. You want to see a blueprint with the sales staff that specifically tells them how they can encourage prospects to satisfy their expectations for the product. It's worth pointing out here that you'll need to manually edit all versions of it every time goals, dates, or other elements shift in your creation as you create your roadmap using static document resources. Alternatively, you will build a dynamic and visual roadmap using a purpose-built roadmap platform that would be simple to show to the right audience at the right level of information.
  • Building the actual roadmap: Start by deciding what the product's main themes would be. Build a swimming lane on the roadmap for each of those themes. Now that you have a set of main themes, you will begin to layer under them in epics. And if you decide that you need more information, under each epic, you can even layer in special functionality. For each detail you add to the roadmap, you want to continue at the strategic stage. You would want to extend the same thought to and theme just as you first decided the justification for being of your product, questioning why that theme deserves a place on the roadmap and what particular place it deserves in comparison to the other themes.

  • Flexibility: Lastly, you'll want to bear in mind that none of those specifics are set in stone when you plan out the details on your roadmap, companies' goals change, levels of the capital switch. Moves by rivals may cause the production or release schedule of a product to change. You want to build and deliver a product roadmap to your different customers in such a manner that the necessary modifications, changes, and course corrections along the way make space for them. If you can strategically handle constructing your first roadmap, and you have the makings of a great product roadmap in the order, we've described here.

Good product roadmap tools

Here is a list of a few good product roadmaps making tools.

  • Trello: Trello is a common project management method, but the customizability of Trello boards ensures a rudimentary roadmap can be developed.
  • Roadmap: Best at integrating constant input from consumers into roadmaps.
  • ProductHQ: Best for user/team interaction via a voting framework in roadmap preparation.
  • Tara: Best to illustrate continuing every day and weekly improvements with fast data and observations.
  • Sharpcloud: Best for guidance on road mappings, such as webinars and ebooks.
  • ProdPad: Best and plenty of room for improvement for lean product roadmaps.
  • ProductPlan: Best with a wide set of models for ready-to-go roadmaps.

  • Airfocus: Best for a guide of RICE scoring to reduce feature bias.

Product prototype tool you need to know!

Wondershare Mockitt is an online platform for prototyping and sharing that lets you build immersive software wireframes and prototypes. You can log in directly through the browser. In addition, you don't have to think about whether or not you have saved your progress as it saves all updates instantly. Get inspiration with product roadmap examples on Mockitt. Just in case you end up missing your data for whatever reason, with a multi-level disaster recovery backup, Wondershare Mockitt has your back. Its features include:

product roadmap templates

  1. Prototyping: Without any code, you can transform immersive projects into animated prototypes. You will use Dynamic Linking and Components to incorporate drag-and-drop connections and simulate the finished product with interactive gestures and transitions to display the relationship between pages. You also get hundreds of product roadmap templates.
  2. Collaboration: With Wondershare Mockitt, you don't have to pass files to colleagues manually or send links to others in real-time to access, update, and comment on the projects. Finally, it aims to improve productivity with an open workflow in which partners can see the project status and feedback and synchronize progress and documentation in real-time.
  3. Handover to Developer: To help get the team to the same page, Mockitt offers Handoff features that are a kind of marking tool. Commonly referred to as Handover to Developer, it helps planners, executives, and engineers to easily look up a particular feature and function effectively.

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