What Is a Product Roadmap?
A product roadmap is a strategic document that outlines a product's vision, goals, and timeline for development. It helps teams stay focused on the big picture and communicate their plans to stakeholders.
- Roadmaps are Dead! Long Live Roadmaps!
C. Todd explains how a roadmap can be more about communicating your product strategy than it is about communicating features and dates. A Roadmap can have 5 components: Vision, Business Objectives, Timeframes, Disclaimers, and Themes.
What Goes In a Roadmap
A roadmap should include product features, user needs, market trends, and technical requirements. It should prioritize items based on their importance and feasibility, and allow for flexibility as priorities shift.
- Where do product roadmaps come from?
Paul explains the different categories for where roadmap items come from: new ideas, modifications to recently-shipped products, common customer problems, improving product quality, and features to help you scale.
- Using ‘Themes’ in Your Modern Product Management Roadmap
Jon explains how it is difficult to create a roadmap purely around features, because your learnings can change over time as you dig into each problem & solution. To solve this, you can use 'themes' in your roadmaps, which focus on outcomes and business goals, giving PdMs the freedom to explore the right features.
How to Align With Company Strategy
Alignment with company strategy is crucial for a successful roadmap. It should reflect the company's overall goals and values, and be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it stays on track.
- How We Build our Product Roadmap at Asana
Jackie explains Asana's roadmapping process. It's built through a process they call the "Pyramid of Clarity," which maps five levels: company mission, company strategy, (both of which rarely change), annual company-wide objectives, annual team/product-level objectives, and semi-annual key results.
- Stop Setting Up Product Roadmaps To Fail
John describes 14 common problems with product roadmaps, and then encourages you to think through the job a roadmap is being hired to do by your organization and whether a roadmap is the best solution for that job.
How to Format a Roadmap
The format of a roadmap should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should use visual aids such as charts and timelines, and allow for collaboration and feedback from team members and stakeholders.
- On Writing Product Roadmaps
Gaurav provides a walkthrough (with an example) of how to create a quarterly roadmap, which is a fairly standard roadmap timeline.
- now, next, later: Roadmaps without the Drudgery
Noah explains different roadmaps for different company stages, and the format that works well in companies from 20 to 1000 employees: 3 timeframe buckets for now, next, and later. This format balances clear communication vs. flexibility.
- Tweetstorm on Roadmap Formats: Timeline vs. Lean
Janna picks up Noah's point about inflexibility and builds on it, explaining how Gannt chart-style roadmaps create problems. She recommends thinking about time in three buckets similar to Noah's: "Current", "Near Term", & "Future".
Product Roadmap Examples
Product roadmap examples can vary depending on the industry and product type. Some examples include a software development roadmap, a product launch roadmap, and a marketing roadmap. Each should be tailored to the specific needs of the product and its stakeholders.
- GitLab's Public Roadmap: "Maturity"
GitLab exposes a 2-year roadmap across their 10 products, with a maturity designation per feature. This approach seems to work for GitLab, but may not work for all companies.