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How to Build a Successful Product Roadmap in 2021?

Are you looking for some kind of inspiration for your first Product Roadmap (PR)? And wondering how to create a  professional product Roadmap? Are you planning to implement good practices in your product roadmap to get sustained growth? If your answer is Yes! This article will cover the right approach and direction to follow. It helps you to design a successful Product Roadmap.

A PR organizes and conveys a products’ vision to all stakeholders. Let’s learn how to design a product roadmap from square one.

Essential things to cover are 

  • What is a product roadmap and is the significance 
  • The kinds of product roadmaps
  • The stages for making a Product roadmap
  • Best practices for making a product roadmap

A Product Roadmap is a visual mechanism to ideate, plan, and convey the development of a product over a long period. Product roadmaps are created by the product owners and these roadmaps are effective top-notch documents. A product roadmap is given the highest consideration in the Product strategy stage.

Product roadmaps are always evolving. They are not bug-reports, product ideas, and feature requests. 

Why do you choose to have a Product roadmap?

For a business, a product roadmap traces a product’s development way towards meeting business goals. PR serves as a manual guide for plan and execute activities for the development team. 

It gives out a clarity on various aspects : 

  • Imparting product initiatives
  • Focusing on product initiatives and assignments
  • Handling business resources across these initiatives
  • Making transparency and responsibility

Categories of Product Roadmap

There are two kinds of Product roadmap based on the target audience. They are:

Goal-based and Feature-based. Both roadmaps contain similar product initiatives

1- Goal-based Roadmaps: The essential audience for objective-based roadmaps are entrepreneurs and external stakeholders. Apart from initiatives, the targets or objectives are reported too.

2- Feature-based Roadmaps: Internal groups and developers are the audiences of feature-based guides. Roadmaps focus on product versions and attributes that will go with every product version. Product roadmaps can be classified based on the visual tool. This can be Boards or Gantt timelines. They can be categorized as Waterfall or Agile product roadmaps dependent on the product growth strategy. 

Organizations that have several products make a Product Portfolio roadmap. A portfolio roadmap assists organizations with getting organised product initiatives for business objectives.

How to Build a Product Roadmap? 

The steps followed toward making a product roadmap is called Road Mapping.

It begins with understanding the business targets and finishes with a feature based, granular process roadmap for the team. Here are the steps: 

Step #1. Business vision and targets alignment

To start with, communicate with internal and external product stakeholders. These include: 

  • Clients 
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Inside Sales  Team 
  • Client support teams

It is very important to check the market and competition. A startup may settle on the accompanying business objectives to improve its incomes: 

  • Improve client retention
  • Improve client lifetime value
  • Get more reference clients 

Step #2. Make a external roadmap

At this stage, product owners and managers Identify initiatives that can help meet the business goals. Group of developers, decision-makers, and clients ideate, estimate, and focus on product initiatives. The initiatives are added to a board or a timeline.

External stakeholders are usually more inclined toward a top-notch roadmap, commonly made using visual idea boards.

Step #3. Make a granular, interior roadmap

The interior team will require a more granular outline of the roadmap contrasted with external stakeholders. A Gantt chart based timeline is ideal for this. 

They are horizontal bar graphs that display the product initiatives on the Y-axis and the dates on the X-axis. Each bar on the chart addresses an initiative. The bar traverses the graph horizontally from the beginning date to the end date. 

Step #4. Create, deliver, review and rehash 

The Gantt timeline roadmap is expanded into a detailed project plan with assignments and achievements. Group members follow this project plan and intend to create and convey the initiatives. 

Initiatives delivered are compared against the set objectives of a business. Product roadmap preparation starts all over again.

Product Roadmap Examples 

Below mentioned is an example of a product roadmap

Buffer: Buffer is a well-known online media publishing tool. They share their product initiatives publicly with clients on social media. Clients vote on features they prefer. Top-casted ballot features go into development. Every initiative goes through the below stages: 

  1. Investigating 
  2. In Progress 
  3. Done 
  4. Leave and wait for notice

Product Roadmap Best Practices 

Important things to follow while creating a PR

Use Visual tools

A product roadmap imparts a product’s vision, goals, and initiatives to business executives, clients, and the team. Henced perceived effortlessly.

Documents and spreadsheet are used for archive, wheras product roadmap needs visual devices to convey the meassage. Using the Gantt timeline and boards are the most effective tools to serve the purpose.

Design a custom roadmap version for your audience

Whether a client is external or internal PR is customised correspondingly. You may require more customised versions of the roadmap. 

You may have to create a roadmap for your marketing and sales team. This form of your roadmap will be somewhere in the middle of the granular, product group roadmap, and the upper-level stakeholder roadmap guide.

Offer the roadmap with all partners 

Your roadmap conveys significant data about your product. For business heads, it shows how the product lines up with business objectives. It shows your team the right path ahead. Therefore, more effective and powerful when shared with your clients.

Public road maps directly impact what clients can anticipate from a product. It gives a chance to engage with clients. Requesting client feedback shows clients that you value their inputs. It exhibits your obligation to constantly improve a product.

To learn more about building a  Product roadmap you can visit this link.

Get insights from our experts about Product road mapping at AntWak platform.

About AntWak: 

AntWak is an experiential learning platform that has 1000+ free, bite-sized professional learning courses in 15+ domains such as Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, Data Engineering, User Experience, Sales & BD, powered by 2,500+ experts from 500+ brands & corporates across 30+ countries. 

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