One of the most important tools for a product manager is a product roadmap, used to coordinate the product development process. This invaluable tool is distinguished from other business plans because of its ability to be modified or enhanced as needed and created specifically to deliver a strategy and plan for how a product will be developed and how the process will coincide with company goals
Product Managers have an incredibly important responsibility within their companies to own and define a compelling product roadmap that helps their organizations meet their business targets. They serve as the catalyst for how resources are allocated, which markets will be targeted and not targeted, and often which customers will be won or lost. This invaluable tool is distinguished from other business plans in its ability to be modified or enhanced as needed and created specifically to deliver a strategy and plan for how a product will be developed and how the process will coincide with company goals.
Goals of a Product Roadmap
Product roadmaps function as communication tools and are driven by short and long term business goals. When properly created and implemented, roadmaps will reduce uncertainty about the future and keep product teams focused. They prioritize tasks, track goal progress, build understanding within teams, coordinate activities, and create transparency. It is designed to keep the development of a product on track and ensure that all individuals involved remain on the same page throughout the process.
Visual Description of Vision & Strategy
Developing a product roadmap begins with a clear vision and strategy. Consider the customers’ needs when creating the roadmap as well as how to encourage your team to solve a customer problem. It is important to gather input from other sources including customer feedback, partners, engineering, company vision, sales and marketing, business objectives, and product strategy. Once this data has been gathered, the product manager can organize emerging goals by priority.
Guidelines on Strategy Execution
By developing a clear understanding of the product vision and defining the specific goals, the roadmap brings the vision to reality. The product roadmap will outline how to accomplish goals by illustrating the top priorities and avoiding missed opportunities. The roadmap ensures, even without a specified deadline, that all participants are synchronized with the chosen priorities.
Aligning Internal Stakeholders
A product roadmap is a communication tool to illustrate the vision and strategy to sales and marketing teams, senior executives, and customers. Preserving the lines of communication will align key stakeholders on the established product strategy, goals, and development timelines by providing the framework of product features, designation of responsibilities, and specific feature completion timelines.
Facilitates Discussion of Options
As part of the roadmap creation process, it is necessary to facilitate the discussion of options with the product team. A product roadmap is a visualization of the strategy to achieve expected goals through the stages of product development. Encouraging all team members to share insight and concerns will result in a comprehensive projection.
Communication with External Stakeholders
Communication is critical during every step of the product roadmap process. This includes feedback from, and progress updates to, external stakeholders ensuring all parties involved are working towards a common goal. Briefing stakeholders with the product roadmap clarifies the status of current projects, allocation of resources, and high-level strategies.
Speak to the Professional Project Management Company
When executed properly, a roadmap can assist product managers in the management and alignment of stakeholder expectations. It can also clearly define areas of focus within short-term and long-term goals. To learn more about product roadmaps or for assistance in creating a roadmap for your business, reach out to the experts at Orases for digital solutions.