Product Roadmap Presentation – How Detailed Do You Go?
I was on a call with a customer the other week and they asked how big and how detailed they should make their roadmap presentation. How much information did I think it should hold? It’s a question that crops up so often that I thought it would be helpful to write down my advice and share it more widely. Here goes:
1. Make sure each roadmap is human-readable
Remember a roadmap is a high-level document that acts as a visual representation of your product vision and anyone should be able to look at your roadmap presentation, and understand where you are now and where you plan to be in the future. It shouldn’t need insider knowledge of all the different moving parts of the business, so steer clear of acronyms and jargon.
2. Don’t overcomplicate things
As for ‘now, next, later’, have no more than a few cards per column. If there are 20 things in the now column, 10 things in the next column and 30 things in the later column, then no one will read your roadmap presentation. It would take an afternoon to digest it all.
3. Try to get it to fit within a page scroll or two
Any more than that and it’s likely your presentation is too granular. This in turn may be a sign that you’re becoming too detailed and thinking about the roadmap at a feature level – a bad habit to get into. The roadmap should be about problems to solve and not about features to build.
4. Think about and understand who you’re talking to
It may sound obvious, but your roadmap presentation should be appropriate to your audience. If you’re working with internal stakeholders with detailed knowledge then they might want more detail than someone who’s after a strategic overview.
5. Combine and save time
Can you stack your roadmaps together so that different product teams can read them together? Product teams should be able to have a conversation about what works and where there are potential problems without wading through hours of detail.
Remember, your roadmap should be easily understandable and digestible to anyone who looks at it.