Visualize Your Product through a Product Road Map

Does your company use product road maps for planning and growing the product toward the vision?

Product road maps help build alignment among stakeholders and the product development teams. Here are some things I have found make up a valuable product road map:

  • Focus on high level customer defined features being shipped over the next 3 – 12 months
  • A result of conversations with all those involved in the creation of the product (stakeholders and product development teams)
  • Show an anticipated release cadence to set expectations with users on working software
  • An artifact that will most likely change and is easy to change based on customer feedback and iterative development using Scrum or another framework

A basic example of a product road map referring to a previous blog post that defined my vision as “helping people learn to play blues guitar” and defined my product as a mobile app could be (click image to view):

The above example is simple and uses Google Docs so it is easy to view, share, and update as customer feedback is received. Ideally feedback is received every sprint (2 – 4 weeks) and items are potentially ship-able each sprint. For example, prior to the 1/1 release, I may get data and feedback that a large group of users would like to login using Facebook so I adjust as needed with sprints and the road map.

What has been your experience with product road maps? What information do you find useful?

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