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ditch the timeline roadmap

Ditch the Timeline Roadmap

When product managers create a product roadmap, they’re doing so to build and communicate their product strategy. A good roadmap prompts discussion around the viability of that strategy and opens up discussions about how it can be improved. The product roadmap’s content and structure both need to be appropriate for the target audience, to make sure it’s a roadmap that everyone can understand.

The job of a product manager isn’t to know everything, but rather to guide others through the roadmapping process and communicate that roadmap to others, so they can do their part in tackling the challenges the business faces. A solid roadmapping process is one of the most powerful tools in any product person’s toolkit, if it’s used to empower the team and strengthen the product strategy. 

Traditionally, roadmaps have been provided as a timeline or Gantt chart. Based on extensive experience with product people over 15+ years, this guide will help lay out a vision of how traditional roadmapping is broken. By ditching the timeline roadmap, product managers can reframe their thinking into something more productive and useful. However, moving away from timeline roadmaps takes courage and knowhow. 

This guide equips you with everything you need to to move away from a feature-focused, deadline-driven way of working. By becoming more lean and building a product strategy that is outcome and experiment-driven, product managers are able to build valuable solutions that customers will love.

Are you ready to ditch your timeline roadmap?

  1. What is a Product Roadmap
    • Roadmap is a prototype for your strategy
    • Roadmapping is a process
  2. The Trouble with Traditional Timeline Roadmaps
    • Too many assumptions
    • Slows down your team
    • Creates technical debt
    • Vicious cycle of deadline-driven work
  3. Intro to Lean Product Roadmapping
    • Time horizons, not timelines
    • Focus on solving problems
    • Objectives on a lean roadmap
    • Product vision and your roadmap
    • Putting together a lean roadmap
    • Experimenting on a lean roadmap
    • Validating outcomes on a roadmap
  4. How OKRs and Lean Roadmapping Work Together
    • O(I)KRs
    • Time-based planning and OKRs
    • Lean roadmapping and OKRs
    • Autonomy + Alignment
    • High performing teams
    • Everyone else is doing it
  5. Time on a Lean Roadmap
    • When hard dates make sense
    • The Agency Trap
    • The power of discovery
    • No deadlines? What this really means
  6. Getting Your Team on Board
    • Convince your boss and execs
    • Convince your investors and customers
    • Convince your salesperson
    • Convince your marketing team