In this article, we look at how to use product roadmaps.
A product roadmap is a high-level visual summary that maps out the vision and direction of your product offering over time. It communicates the why and what behind what you’re building. Ultimately, such a roadmap guides planning. In addition, it serves as a process for executing the product strategy.
The product roadmap strives for several goals:
- Describe the vision and strategy
- Provide a guiding document for executing the strategy
- Get internal stakeholders in alignment
- Facilitate discussion of options and scenario planning
- Help communicate with external stakeholders, including customers
For related posts, read the following:
Aligning with the Customer Journey: How to Use Product Roadmaps
To best use a product roadmap, a company must make sure that the roadmap aligns with the customer journey.
According to Jaimi “J.J.” Kercher, writing for ProductPlan:
“Much has been written about the idea of the featureless roadmap. It challenges product teams to present their plans grounded more in strategic vision – or by themes – rather than a laundry list of specific features.”
“A critical considerations in developing your theme framework involves asking what drives the need for this theme? However, there is a genuine risk that a well-meaning product manager might simply group and categorize the existing feature list as a means for determining the theme. However, the real goal of the themed roadmap is to let the desired outcomes define the features. So how do you zero in on the most meaningful outcomes from which to center your roadmap themes around?”
“In general, the customer journey chronicles every customer interaction and touchpoint with your business. From becoming aware that you exist to making a purchase decision, using, and then eventually renewing with your product or service. The journey is depicted in different phases, which are relatively universal. However, that might be customized by a business that has done the work to map their customers’ journey). Those phases include Become Aware, Evaluate and Buy, Set Up, Happily Use, Get Support, Add Services, and Renew.”