A roadmap is only as good as the problems it solves. But, how do you know if you’ve made the right decision and built the right stuff for your customers? This is why product managers need to record outcomes.
It’s important to look back at completed work, not only to record your findings but to communicate what your team has achieved. This allows you to understand the impact of your work, maintain a customer-centric approach, and allow for positive growth. Understanding these achievements, and being able to evaluate why you made certain decisions will help shape your product strategy when moving forward.
Setting a baseline
Make a brief note on the roadmap initiative to document what success looks like. This will help indicate if you have achieved your objective. Do you have any key results you are tracking against the initiative or ideas? This is the time to outline your baseline. Remember, you can link directly to objectives and key results so you can see what else is impacting the outcome.
You then need to come up with some key results to track. Key results are metrics you will use to measure success. For example, if your objective is revenue, your key result might be to increase revenue by 10% in the second quarter. Setting a key result and recording the outcome allows you to look back, learn, adjust, and pivot if needed – depending on the result.
Recording the outcome
Once the initiative is completed, it’s now time to review your work. Here’s a template I like to use:
Based on the following key results, set:
Key result 1
Key result 2
Key result 3
We achieved the following results:
Key result 1: result
Key result 2: result
Key result 3: result
Was the initiative successful?
Enter how you know
What did you learn? Did you make the right decisions? What would you do differently next time?
If successful, how can you replicate this success again in another initiative?
If unsuccessful, how can you avoid this failure in another initiative?
When to record outcomes
You may not have all the answers when you initially complete the initiative. Keep this information up to date – go back and update the initiatives months after completion to record any additional findings. Recording your findings and documenting what you’re learning keeps you focused on whether or not you’re reaching your objectives, as well as the impact your product strategy is having on your business and users.
ProdPad provides a space with a dedicated outcome section within the roadmap initiative. You can record both the impact on the metric, and the project level. Our tool is optimized for product managers and designed specifically to help you keep track of discovery and outcomes. This is then all tied back to your vision and strategy.
When writing outcomes, it’s not solely about recording metrics. It’s about the insights behind the process itself.
Most importantly, note that a lack of success doesn’t mean you’ve failed. What is important is whether you have learned from the process, the decisions you’ve made, and how you can adjust for the next initiative. Were you a bit too ambitious with your key results? Can you iterate? Remember, anything is possible.
Looking for a little more information? Book yourself in for a demo with one of our product experts. They’ll be happy to answer all your product-related questions, as well as giving you a tour of ProdPad.
Andrea is a Product Support and Management expert, technical writer, and social network monkey. An undercover geek with a passion for music, animals, and avid unicorn rights activist, she's always up for a challenge.