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How Product Roadmaps Drive New Product Development

August 31, 2015

Roadmap Management

One of the main goals of a product roadmap is to create a product of value to an identified customer base. This is designed to make it possible for a company to achieve specific financial goals. The product roadmap covers market opportunities, reveals competitive pricing, provide steps from creation to successful distribution and more.

In an article from Pragmatic Marketing Magazine, “If no strategy exists, then one should be created…without a driving strategy behind it…(a) company risks being jacked around by short-term opportunities…product planning might very well stimulate some strategic discussions.”

Communicate like a boss

One of the most important aspects of product roadmapping is to communicate what you’re doing as a team, why you’re doing it and how you plan to get there. Since they’re clear, thematic and visual, roadmaps are useful for helping all team members understand what the product is going to do and what the team is meant to be working towards. We’ve found that outlining steps and initiatives is what it takes to effectively communicate your vision for a successful product to everyone involved, all at once.

Don’t include dates!

A successful roadmap doesn’t need any hard and fast dates. It’s important the document be as flexible as possible, as unexpected situations are likely to occur. If a goal cannot be met on a specific date frustration can begin to build. Being able to adapt your product roadmap to changing situations is key for eliminating frustration.

A successful roadmap doesn't need any hard and fast dates. -@simplybastow Click To Tweet

Get historical information

There are certain instances in which historical information can be useful for a product roadmap. That gives you helpful context when you’re building the case to further a new product’s development.

  • How long did it take to complete similar tasks in the past?
  • What roles were needed in past projects?
  • What kind of roadblocks or technical debt hindered the completion of past projects?

Resource planning needs historical information. This provides a way for a product roadmap to show exactly what is needed to finish the product’s creation, while also providing an overview of your current progress.

Get everyone on board

A roadmap can be used to plan for future resources, providing insight to all levels of management of the stage of your product’s development and what is needed from them. Likewise, it informs a company’s investors how it plans to expand and increase revenue in the future. This is also a way to increase a customer base by letting them anticipate what to expect from your product in the future.

If you would like to know more about product roadmapping we can help. Contact us today and learn more – or start a free trial now!

Janna Bastow is co-founder of ProdPad, software that helps product managers plan and deliver better products. Janna also organizes ProductTank events around the world, including Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. She likes to inspire great product conversations by asking: “What problem are you trying to solve?”

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