Improve Product Offerings with a Product Roadmap

I don’t think anybody uses actual roadmaps anymore, but the word has not died. Why? Because a roadmap has come to mean “any document that provides a route to a destination”. In the business world, a roadmap means a plan for growth.

When I evaluate a new piece of software or application, I want to see a published roadmap. It’s crucial for me to be able to see where they plan on taking their product.

Every company should be using roadmaps for their own growth and the growth of any product or service they are offering. If you are not working off a roadmap, you may as well be picking random ideas out of the sky.

As a firm believer in the utility and benefits of roadmaps, I have developed some pointers to help you make yours.

Designing a Product Roadmap

  1. Schedule a weekly session called “[Product Name Goes Here] Roadmap” – it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to get the right conversations and ideas organized, but it should settle down to about 30 minutes each week once you have the ideas organized.
  2. Organize your ideas. In our office, we created an excel sheet with each idea. Then we broke them into sections (Security, Welcome Kit, etc.); then gave them two weights: one based on client need and one based on our need.
  3. Create a roadmap for the quarter. Based on the results above, we identified how much time we could commit to this quarter’s improvements, identified the tasks that met the time and weight requirements, and off we go.
  4. Dedicate time for tasks. Now that the task list is identified, you have until the next quarter to finish the list. Go! Make sure you schedule time each week for those involved to take action.
  5. Have a short weekly meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure nothing stands in the way of your team accomplishing those tasks. Similar to SCRUM, the role of manager here is to make sure nothing stands between the tasks getting completed.

If you are looking to create a roadmap, and are not sure where to start – reach out to me for more information.