The Product Roadmap shows the direction of the product and how the product is intended to grow. It demonstrates alignment to needs and a plan to deliver over time. The Product Roadmap is built around the vision for a solution, it outlines how the vision will be achieved and is defines how to measure progress.
Elements of the Product Roadmap include:
- The Defined Vision and Strategy – as an input
- Another input are the Desired Outcomes
- Maintenance of the roadmap is performed by the Product Management Team, which ensures it is current and remains aligned properly
- The roadmap will focus on a collection of requirements or themes, or features.
- And it deals on a high level of things expected to be valuable to the solution.
Above is a simplified example of a Product Roadmap. It shows parallel development of some capabilities, some that are spread across multiple quarters, and some that may be delayed due to a dependency. This example shows that all capabilities are projected to be completed by Q4.
Dealing so closely with vision, it’s no surprise Product Roadmap is used for the Strategy Horizon. It identifies each feature and positions them in columns related to projected timeframes. This makes it a good tool for projecting resource requirements. The context is Product Management or Refinement and the Audience is the internal Team.
Product Roadmaps provide a shared focus on what is needed and overall direction, including MVP discussions. It can be utilized for discussions on priorities or other options. Variations can be provided for a target audience.
However, if the vision is chaotic, this tool loses effectiveness. Also, there is a potential to view this as milestones instead of overall directional goals.
And if it’s too detailed, it can be hard to maintain, so keep things at a high level.