A vision for a product, all the practices are done, strategic planning completed, now what next?
You now need to know the types of product roadmap, the roadmap that provides a layout to how you will be delivering the product, and when you will be delivering it. The delivery can be the launching of a product to the pre-existing customers or the potential ones, or enhancing the existing services/products to the audiences, or introducing an internal product for internal organizational purposes.
In this situation, the product roadmap will help you reach the business objectives, along with letting a business implement features and requirements aligning with the strategy of the product/service. The product roadmap is very different from the other requirements like user’s feedback, a work backlog, bug-fixing, resolving issues, bug reporting. Though these things together are part of the roadmap which are further reviewed and considered from the product manager perspective.
The perspective can further be changed as per the shifting customer requirements, market trends, and other demands.
Keeping the importance of what is a product roadmap and why it is important, here is a product roadmaps guide explaining everything about it.
Why Product Road Mapping Is Important?
Roadmapping is an important part of any business planning as it is the driving force for giving a smooth passage to where to invest next and why. Through strategic business planning, businesses can look at the process that needs to be followed while everyone in the organization focuses on achieving the one centric goal.
The planning can be further informed to the internal and external partners along with a visible gateway towards the product planning and prioritization in order to offer new experiences for delivering.
Take for example- A mobile application is the systematic process development of various things that involve-
- The cost of app development
- Time taken to develop a mobile application
- Native app development vs cross-platform app development
- The technology stack for app development
- How to increase app user engagement
- Waterfall vs Agile methodology
Apart from that, there are other things to ask from a mobile app development company in order to get accurate and right results.
And this will be a product roadmap for a business for developing mobile applications along with a rough layout for a leading mobile app development company too.
Thus, a roadmap is important as you will be getting the path towards how to make things work and what to follow next without any hindrance. However, changes can still take place within the roadmap as per the current situation and demands.
The aforementioned part of the blog has mentioned the importance and meaning of what is a product roadmap, the next parts of the guide to product roadmap will be defining everything about it.
Who Should Use Roadmaps?
Roadmap serves a different purpose to a different set of audiences and can manipulate the process as per the demands from the market and requirements from the business.
The product roadmap however is categorized into-
Internal Roadmap For The Development Team
Roadmaps are best made when they are made as per the work process of teams. By keeping the team and their working pattern in the loop, the roadmap gives flexibility to the development team to work nicely for an effective and outstanding result.
Other than that, the roadmaps are created keeping the target audience, customer value, milestones, process in mind. Moving on to the method of working, agile methodologies are the most common approach taken by the development team making the process divided into sprints. This answers the question what is a product roadmap in agile as the process is divided into sprints for easier processing and completion.
“Also know- How to run business with the distributed agile team”
Internal Roadmaps For Executives
The internal roadmap majorly emphasizes how the teams will be working and supporting the company’s goals and metrics to reach the top. These roadmaps can be arranged on a monthly basis or quarterly in order to follow the process and record the progress over the time period. However, this kind of roadmap is a simplistic format of following the process and does not contain detailed development stories and tasks.
Internal Roadmaps For Sales
The roadmaps created for sales highlights the new strategies that can benefit businesses for supporting the sales conversations. The sales supporting process should never be constrained or bound with the concrete dates. The hard-hit dates can bound the potential of the development team whereas will force them to offer results within the unrealistic dates timeline.
Roadmap For External Processes
These are the roadmaps that are meant to excite and entice users about the product or service coming or launching next in the market. Whatever is being put into this roadmap should be made easy and visually appealing.
The roadmap basically should portray what will be added to the product and how the product features will be helping users for the longer term. This will help users remain interested to know about the product and the directions of it. This overall strategy will make them wait for the product launch and eventually help in higher product demand.
Now that you are familiar with who should be using the roadmap and for what purposes, it is now the time to know why you should be investing in the product roadmap explained in the next part of the product roadmap guide.
Investing in something without knowing the essence of it can kill the overall purpose of the process, thus, it is always beneficial to understand why you should be investing in a product roadmap and how it can help businesses for a longer period of time.
Let us move into the part answering why you should invest in the product roadmap.
Why You Should Invest In A Product Roadmap?
A product roadmap is important because it portrays the vision, detailing, and the next steps towards the working of the product or service. Also, the roadmap is made to meet the company’s goals, which also aligns with the development team efforts, and the market needs.
Meanwhile, here are the reasons why you should invest in a product roadmap process-
- Organizations should invest in product roadmap development because it provides product managers the work status and the progress made. The tasks here are simply turned into non-technical terms making the overall flow and tasks easily understood
- As mentioned, Product managers and owners can have a hold over the tasks completion report along with unifying teams working on a project and communicating with other team members about the priorities
- Product roadmaps are important for developers too, as they provide a clear understanding of the process, the steps to be followed, expectations, deadline, and other crucial factors. The product roadmap follow-up guide encourages developers to work systematically and getting started with the important tasks first, avoiding and eliminating overburden or less important tasks
With all the answers ready, let us now move to the next section of the guide to product roadmaps explaining how to create a product roadmap.
How To Create A Product Roadmap?
Come Up With A Vision & Strategy
Before getting started with the product road mapping, it is crucial to connect with the internal and external stakeholders, while talking with the customers, looking at the market trends, seeing the performance of the competitors. Apart from that, a user persona will help in extracting important information, considering the sales team information, while connecting with the production team and management. All these parameters when aligned together will offer you a passage to get started with the product roadmap by keeping all the necessary information on its side.
Provide intelligence on the customer’s voice to the production team and management. Once you’ve aligned the vision across all stakeholders and participants, you have the required input data to begin working on your roadmap.
Defining The Target Audience
Your audience will be affecting your product roadmap, thus, it is crucial for you to understand your target audience before developing any product roadmap. According to the audience, everything in the product roadmap, be it the content, types, and others affect the overall planning.
The Right Format
The format you will be choosing will impact the content’s style too. Now, in order to make your format, you need to be sure of your audience and how the content in it will appeal to them.
Take for example- a marketing department might not want to go ahead with feature-based content however for an engineering team, it will be the best thing to go ahead with. Thus, whatever format you will be picking will reflect all the necessary information that will be further highlighted along with an understanding of which themes or goals will get prioritized.
Look For Metrics & Embed Features
Metrics is something that will provide you concrete data about the product, its progress, and how to get started with the next phase of the product roadmap. Now, as per the purpose of the roadmap, you can pick up the metrics and then work upon the customer needs and business requirements.
Other than that, it is preferable to look at the competitors’ too and the market condition before the final product roadmap.
Pick The Right Tool For Product Roadmap
Building a product roadmap is a process that involves several things like competitor analysis, market research, trend analysis, metrics if the development is required for the internal or external team, and so on.
For developing the roadmap, you need to come up with tools that are not just smooth to use but also speed up the process and keep the roadmap updated as and when priorities are changed.
Here are a few tools for product roadmap development
Keep The Information Right And Updated
The next step to how to create product roadmap is to keep everything updated and informed. All the information embedded into the product roadmap is important, however, when it comes to the strategic roadmap, bits & segregated information is less important than the information easily understood and clean.
In order to make the product roadmap nicely made, avoid adding too much information or unnecessary explanation.
Also, another thing to keep in mind when working upon the product road mapping is the fact that as and when your product will grow, you need to be sure to keep the information updates while conveying the same to each and every stakeholder.
Considering all the steps for creating a product roadmap, let us now have a look at the product roadmap examples.
Effective Product Roadmap Examples
How you will be delivering the pre-decided work, and how many timeframes you will be required for completing the task is how the release plan is explained.
One of the first product roadmap examples provides an overview of the upcoming release of the product to senior-level authorities, stakeholders, cross-functional teams along with customers. Also, it is recommended to showcase a feature clad version of the product, something which is not time-bound. This provides flexibility to complete the work among the teams.
Sprint plans are delivery-focused and allow product management teams to use sprint planning to keep everyone aligned with the project requirements while making sure everything updated.
Positioned as the second product roadmap example Sprints are also divided into categories as per the priority. The delivery of multiple sprints with the said features allows owners to manage and monitor the workload.
Meant for the development team, the Kanban roadmap helps in grouping initiatives together like- what are the planning, what is in the backlog, what is the progress status, and what has been completed till now.
Kanban roadmap is best suited when it comes to communicating the future plans with the team without providing them a concrete deadline.
Features Timeline Roadmap
The feature timeline roadmap is an output-driven roadmap allowing one to set the time frame of the individual feature. Combining the planning features & tracking progress with the timeline roadmap provides a 360-degree overview of the deadlines and milestones that can be further aligned with the development teams. Allocating resources can also be done through it.
The product roadmap is important for a business to get their upcoming strategies streamlined and managed along with offering the flexibility to make changes as per the market demands and requirements.
In case you are willing to know more about what is a product roadmap and how the mobile app product roadmapping is made, connect with our experts today!
Co-Founder & Managing Director of AppVenturez Mobitech. An entrepreneur who is tech-savvy and aims to build the largest software business through technological innovation, keen business strategist and a passionate technocrat. He firmly believes in learning and earning by planning and performing.
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