An effectively created product roadmap paves the path of efficient product management. According to a study by Pragmatic Marketing Inc, 61% of product managers and product marketers wish to spend more time on strategy as it would help them make the product successful.
But, to achieve that, one has to have a well-crafted product roadmap. It is a powerful way to visualize how your product will grow in the near future, how it will align the stakeholders and the way through which you can acquire a budget for developing the product.
If you offer web development services, mobile app development, or any product based services, then having a strategized product roadmap is a must.
Creating a perfect roadmap is not an easy deal. One has to be well-informed about a product. You have a vision for your product, you have done strategic planning, now what?
You cannot proceed without a product roadmap.
To help you in this matter, we are here with a list of the best ways to create an effective product roadmap. By the end of this post, you will come to know the small and big details that help you create a meticulous product roadmap.
What is a product roadmap?
Creating a perfect roadmap is not a one day or a one week task. The process includes focused efforts along with strong and flexible planning.
Whether you are into software development services or Salesforce CRM product development, for everyone a product roadmap is a high-level vision that gives you an idea of how a product will evolve over a period of time.
A well-crafted product roadmap depicts your current position, the position where you wish to be, and the way through which you will get there. It is more like a guide that will let you efficiently plan your task and execute them in an effective manner.
Why is creating a product roadmap important for businesses?
Whether you are a small business or a large scale enterprise, a product roadmap proves as an essential part of the strategic planning process, where businesses can define each step and understand where one should invest and why.
A product roadmap provides a common goal to all the team members and induces them to work towards achieving the common vision.
Whether you are a Salesforce consulting company or a web & app development company, if you are into product development, then creating a product roadmap is essential for you.
Types of Product Roadmaps
An ideal product roadmap is one that has the answers to all the questions that arise at the time of development. And the one which is flexible enough to adapt to changes during the course of development.
Generally, there are two types of product roadmaps. These are agile product roadmap and waterfall product roadmap.
- Waterfall Product Roadmap – This type of roadmap of a product is more suitable for those products where there is a long-term commitment to building a special set of features in a stipulated time frame.
- Agile Product Roadmap – Agile, evident to its name, allow businesses to cope with inevitable changes while continuing to complete meaningful work in a set timeline. In an agile product roadmap, businesses can effectively achieve their short-term goals of product development according to customer value.
How To Create a Product Roadmap?
Below are mentioned the top ways to create a product roadmap.
Outcome-based product roadmap
For a business, it is essential to have clarity on a goal to achieve before starting working on a product roadmap. The product roadmap development process depends on various possibilities, such as if the product is entirely new or if it is for revamping the existing product, etc.
Make sure you get the answer to the “why: of what you are about to build. Clearly set the goals, vision, and initiatives to be taken for the product.
Try to keep the roadmap understandable & precise
To make a product roadmap successful, it is essential for a business to align all the team members on the same page. It makes the product development process much smoother. But merely bringing team members on the same page is not sufficient. It is also essential for team members to have a proper understanding of the product as well as their role in the development process.
Suppose you are a web development company, and you cater web & app development services to a myriad of clients across the globe. Each client has their own sets of requirements. So it is essential to keep the roadmap simple, clear, and easy to understand that will align with customers’ requirements as well.
User Stories Mapping
User story mapping is an essential part of the product roadmap development process. It will help you decide where to start and what you have to focus on. Through the user mapping process, you will involve all the stakeholders in the product backlog building process, wherein you gather requirements for product development.
The user story mapping gets represented as a tree and it is led by the product manager with other stakeholders such as developer, designer, finance, etc.
For mobile app development service providers, mapping user stories will be highly beneficial.
Finalize Features of Products
Features of a product play a vital role in product roadmap development. Before you try building any product, make sure if its features are somehow connected to the core product.
Suppose you want to develop a new SaaS product, for that the new related features could be a new campaign and cloning a new campaign.
For a Salesforce development company, it is essential to take all the essential features of a product on the priority that will streamline the functioning of the core products. The same goes for every software development company that deals with trending solutions.
Breakdown of Tasks
After determining the features, comes the analysis of the timeline. You can achieve it by breaking tasks into small but achievable timelines. You can take the help of an excel sheet or a similar tool of your choice, in which you can note down tasks.
The story map of a task totally depends on the level of a project. For smaller projects, it usually takes 3 levels, and in the large projects, the story levels go up to 6.
A Common Board
Once you finalize your task and divide them into small pieces, it’s time for you to put everything in one place, like a visionary board. A visionary board is a place where all the required factors are put together, and every stakeholder can access them as and when required.
In this way, everyone can track the progress of a product. Make sure that the features and timelines are classified into different sprints as per the resource available.
Product Roadmap Review
At the time of following a product roadmap, there often comes a time when you face some glitch or problem. That’s nothing to worry about. In a long process of product development, unexpected roadblocks occur.
However, if you constantly review your roadmap, you can safeguard it from unexpected errors.
You cannot get a perfect roadmap initially, but you can always fine-tune it and ensure superior outcomes as you envisioned it.
Benefits of Product Roadmap Development
- A well-structured product roadmap can streamline the planning process even in a dynamic business environment.
- It helps the product development team to stay focused.
- All the stakeholders can check and track the development progress.
- It helps the team understand the requirements of resources.
- It aligns different teams on the same page and promotes cooperation.
Tool for Product Roadmap
The best free product roadmap tools that will help you strategize your future strategies are listed below. These tools to build a product roadmap can be used by any product development company and make strategic goals.
The List of Free Product Roadmap Tools
- Open Project
The List of Premium Product Roadmap Tools
A product roadmap is indeed one of the best ways to attain the desired goal excellently and in a limited timeframe. There are several web & app development companies, software development companies, and Salesforce consulting companies that can leverage this post, and create a result-driven roadmap.