No idea is complete or perfect to develop a successful product. Every idea becomes success with proper strategy and path as idea implementation is not as easy as it seems.

Here comes the role of product management roadmaps that helps companies to make their product launch successful in the market. By creating product roadmaps before launching or even building your product, you can achieve all your objectives attached to that product.

You must be wondering what that is and why it's important. If you want to see your product as the most purchased one among customers, you should surely know about the product management roadmap.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything and answer all your questions regarding this so that you are left with no confusion and be ready for creating roadmaps. So, let’s get started.

What Is a Product Management Roadmap?

Product Management Roadmap is a strategic document that maps out stages of product development with the main purpose of aligning the product vision with the company's objectives. Roadmap demonstrates ways in which the product will evolve and customer & business outcomes that a strategy will achieve.

Product management roadmaps give visibility to tasks happening within the organization to achieve product success and communicate these tasks or efforts to the stakeholders of the company.

A strategic product management roadmap generally includes product vision, strategy, goal, initiative, feature, time frames, progress tracker, and metrics.

Product road mapping is teamwork and not just one time instead multiple teams work. This implies that different departmental teams such as UX, sales, marketing, support, operations, designers, testers, etc., are involved in creating product management roadmaps.

After knowing what a product management roadmap is, it’s essential to see why product management roadmaps are essential for any company.

Why Product Management Roadmaps?

Product management roadmaps are important for an organization as it gives direction to the teams throughout the development process, and aligns customer needs and business objectives.

Apart from this, here are some points that will automatically answer your question “Why Product Management Roadmap?”.

  • Roadmaps help in creating aligned and exciting product strategy. It gives teams a core understanding that assists in their decision-making while keeping in mind the overall goal and direction.
  • It provides stakeholders with full visibility into any developments, modifications, or challenges in the product development process.
  • Roadmaps make it easier for cross-functional teams to collaborate and establish priorities.
  • A product plan is a potent communication tool. Ongoing discussions foster cultural alignment and a thorough grasp of the product's vision and direction.

Types of Product Management Roadmaps

Product roadmaps will vary from project to project since they may be modified to communicate various types of data or align to various logical principles. This will determine how the structure and appearance of roadmaps change.

Here are the most common types of product management roadmaps that are used by companies.

1. Now-next-later roadmap
  • A simplified version of the product backlog
  • Categorize information (such as tasks, sprints, and features) in a prioritized way
  • Focuses on reflecting upon priorities
2. Goal-Oriented roadmap
  • Keep information grouped and simplified explanation
  • Organize information around the goals
  • A high-level roadmap that makes the vision easily understandable
3. Theme-based roadmap
  • Similar to a goal-oriented roadmap
  • Consist of several goals at once that differentiate it from a goal-oriented roadmap
4. Feature-based roadmap
  • The feature is the focal point here
  • Since features are unstable, it will change roadmaps quite often
  • Doesn’t provide high-level details that make it practically difficult to understand
5. Strategy roadmap
  • General purpose roadmap
  • Include any information and can be tailored depending on the audience
  • A high-level outline of general product information linked to specific aspects based on the purpose
6. Technology roadmaps
  • More low-level documents to support the main strategic roadmap
  • Determine the use of a particular technology
  • Help internal team to allocate resources and formulate tech requirements
7. Manufacturing roadmaps
  • Created to assist in the manufacturing of the physical product
  • Help to control manufacturing and set dates for product release
8. Portfolio roadmap
  • Helps in communicating strategy to executives and stakeholders
  • Essential in companies that have multiple products
  • Assist in evaluating product growth and its relation with other products

Deciding what to include in the Product Management Roadmap

Knowing different types of a product roadmap is of no use if you don’t know what to incorporate in the roadmap. So, let’s see what you should add to your product management roadmap to get the best out of it.

1. Establish Goals for a Shorter and Relevant Period

Planning a roadmap for the upcoming months or quarters makes more sense than planning for a year in the future because you cannot predict what will happen in that time.

For the month and quarter, you simply need to know the details of who, what, and how to work toward one or more high-level objectives. Align everything with your product's distinctive positioning to define the quarterly goals for the product.

Be aware of your company's objectives. Whether it's to pacify existing customers or enhance acquisition measures. Knowing the company's objectives will help you create product goals and KPIs that are aligned with them.

2. List Out Common Customer Problems

Once you are aware of the company objectives and have a product strategy focused on tracking and enhancing metrics associated with those objectives, it's appropriate to enter the problem identification phase.  

Discover the customer problems that will have the largest influence on your company's objectives. Look for user statistics, usage information, or product competition analysis to narrowly focus on the issue rather than glossing over it.

The depth of your research and problem-finding throughout the planning stage of your product roadmap is essential to coming up with a list of proper problems that you'll address over time.

3. Keep Internal Teams and Stakeholders Updated

Planning your product roadmap must start as a team effort. Any team that is committed to resolving customer issues should get together to discuss numerous possibilities for achieving a goal.

To improve your planning of the product roadmap, have ongoing and frequent communication with the teams that serve the needs of the consumers. Be interested in their feedback on a suggested solution; as you speak with them, attempt to identify any trends in the problems or feature requests so you can base your ideas on actual input.

Always remember that roadmap alignment should be continuous. It ought, to begin with, the preliminary stages of roadmap creation and strategy formulation. Planning the product roadmap involves including these teams in more interactive discussions.

4. Establish KPIs and Success Measures for the Projects on the Product Roadmap

Making sure that your roadmap is related to clearly defined KPIs is the best approach to quantify the impact of the objectives to be met and the issues to be resolved over a certain period.

Objectives and key results are a great framework for defining goals since it breaks down a broad vision into actionable goals. While Key Results transform the qualitative component of objectives into verifiable milestones, Objectives are time-bound, actionable, and inspirational.

5. Prioritize the Product Roadmap

Great product choices result from a thorough awareness of customers' needs and an equal understanding of what the organization can accomplish with its available resources.

During the planning stage of the product roadmap, a prioritization structure is useful in situations like these. What initiatives will have the biggest impact, to begin with? What task needs to be completed the most quickly? What are the extent of our time, effort, and technological resources? After that, consider how to quantify the responses so you may use them as a basis for prioritization decisions.

Getting Started with Product Roadmaps

Till now, you’ve learned about product management roadmaps, why product management roadmaps are important, different types of roadmaps, and deciding things to include in that roadmap.

Now it’s time to get hands-on practice. To get started with creating a roadmap, you can make use of the OLVY tool that can help you create a customized roadmap depending on your objectives.

To make your product a success, start with your roadmap now. Sooner the better.

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