Earlier this week, Janna Bastow, Co-founder and CEO at ProdPad, took to Twitter and published her very own self-proclaimed TED Talk on why timeline roadmaps suck.
The one where Janna Bastow went in hard on Twitter
And the product management world loved it.
What did Janna’s 19-tweet thread include?
The tweet thread began with an expert explanation on why timeline roadmaps set product managers up to fail. She then continued with a step-by-step guide on why ‘product people of the world’ should ditch these types of roadmaps. And to conclude, Janna revealed why everyone should be using lean product roadmaps instead.
Oozing with product-passion, a wealth of experience, and a few carefully chosen emojis – Janna’s tweets went viral. Above all, this resulted in some great conversations and discussions on product management.
Janna hadn’t planned the Twitter thread. However, she was prompted to do so after trying out a new eco-friendly search engine:
“I was testing Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue, as opposed to lining Google’s pockets. I checked the search results for ‘product roadmap,’ as I wanted to see if Ecosia showed the same thing Google does. Oh yes, same problem – timelines everywhere. However, it spurred me on to revive a talk I gave on why lean product roadmaps are the way forward.” Janna Bastow, ProdPad.
Let’s learn about lean roadmapping
Here’s why product managers need to be embracing a lean, outcome focused roadmap in order to become better product people. Please get in touch, or book a ProdPad demo if you’re looking to discuss your own product strategy.
Janna will be putting together a Q&A – which will answer the most popular questions from this Twitter thread. Watch this space.
The old school way of roadmapping is a timeline format. You can tell it’s still popular by just doing an image search result for ‘product roadmap’ and seeing the resulting mess.
And the last assumption any product team working with a timeline roadmap is making is that each feature on the roadmap actually deserves to exist! That each one is the right thing to build and therefore should be assigned a delivery date and codified into the strategy.
Here’s a format that works well. It’s the elevator pitch template from @geoffreyamoore‘s fantastic book, Crossing the Chasm, and it asks the right sort of questions to get you started on your vision statement. pic.twitter.com/LhjVqKdLlt
Step 3: Switch out your timeline for time horizons
It makes sense: You’ve got greater visibility on the things right in front of you, and less on the things further away. Each column represents a change in visibility and flexibility in your roadmap. pic.twitter.com/JPfYQ2Fnyg