When you get on the road, you are about to face a gang of bikes, boats, mopeds, and trucks coming from all over the map rather than a lone car traveling a lonely route. Exactly the same happens when you land in the market with your product. Because of this, the foundation of any successful development team is a product plan. It is the one source of truth that explains your direction and motivation to everyone, from engineers to stakeholders. This article explains How to prepare a product development roadmap and why it is important to do so?
A product roadmap provides a comprehensive overview of all elements of a future product, including its objectives, schedule, features, and resources. The roadmap outlines the project that a development team is working on, the issue that the technology or software will address, and the commercial objectives the new product will meet.
But there are two key ways that a good roadmap can act as a project management tool:
The term "waterfall" describes a progressive approach to developing and delivering new features and products. Any new customer experience has upfront specifications that are implemented in stages. In the waterfall process, before moving on to the next phase, several specified tasks need to be recorded and approved for each phase.
The primary purpose of the Agile roadmap is to create a long-term, high-level overview of the anticipated evolution of the product. Individual project tasks are not planned on the roadmap. Instead, it is the intersection of vision and strategy.
The strategic vision that the product roadmap presents to the entire team is its greatest advantage. The roadmap aligns the teams around shared objectives to produce excellent products by connecting wider product and company goals with development efforts.
The roadmap updates senior authorities on the state of the work and development tasks into plain-language words and a structure that's simple to understand.
Roadmaps enable product owners and managers to efficiently communicate goals with neighboring teams while bringing together teams working on high-impact product changes.
When it comes to the developers themselves, roadmaps let them see the "big picture," which enables team members to concentrate on the most crucial tasks, prevent hurdles, and take quick and independent decisions.
It's imperative to have a very clear understanding of your objectives when considering how to create a product roadmap. Depending on what you are creating the roadmap for, there may be several options. For instance, is it a brand-new product or a redesign of an old one?
For someone to use a new product and evaluate its functioning, you must start with ideation and create MVPs. MVPs are valuable components of product roadmaps, and their priorities should be established.
All the features that can be related to the main product must be considered while creating a product plan. For instance, related features when developing a new SaaS product may be "new campaign.”
The priority of the feature and how quickly it must be finished during the project must also be taken into account. You should prioritize those initiatives first if a feature is more crucial to the way the product works. By doing so, you can easily tackle the issues and create the essential features of your product that are crucial to the objectives and required by the clients.
After deciding on your objective, you can begin to sketch out your user stories.
It might be challenging to choose where to start and what to concentrate on. Writing a boring, 100-page requirement document is preferable to engaging stakeholders in the process of creating the product backlog through user mapping.
A top-down method of gathering requirements is known as user story mapping, and it looks like a tree. The budget for a large product is allocated in one room under the direction of a product manager or other product owner, together with the other stakeholders of designers, developers, and finance.
Setting a deadline and segmenting undertakings into smaller ones comes next. This phase can be completed using an excel spreadsheet or other application. Including all the tasks under a specified period is part of assembling the final plan into a sheet.
Up to 6 levels in the timeline or story map may be necessary for large projects. 3 levels, however, are typically plenty for modest projects. Based on the product's size and maturity you can decide the timeline.
The next stage is to post everything on a vision board that is open to everybody. This enables everyone concerned to follow the evolution of the product. Depending on the resources available, different tasks or even features can be partitioned for each sprint.
Testing happens at each level and is not dependent on the completion of the entire product in an agile approach to product road mapping. This helps you determine how long each activity takes with the current resources and whether you need to add extra resources at any point or not.
Your product roadmap probably won't be flawless. And that's all right. You'll encounter unforeseen obstacles, and you'll need to mobilize your staff to fulfill deadlines. Any big achievement starts with baby steps.
But you can maintain your roadmap by going through it every time an issue occurs. Consider the following: What is the issue? Do you have a solution for this particular issue? What tools will be needed to fix this problem?
Your roadmap might not start flawlessly, but you can make adjustments to it to make sure your finished product is precisely what you had in mind. Good Luck for that!
A significant step toward a great product is creating a roadmap. Your product plan will be going ahead, and serve as the best indicator of your development and success. Continue strategizing, working with others, and revising your roadmap so that your work is constantly in motion. I hope you have understood why it is so important to build a product roadmap and why you should have one. So, what are you waiting for, create the one and thrive for success. All the very best!