How to make a perfect roadmap?

    A roadmap is an important work tool for a product manager. In this article, we will define the stages of creating a roadmap and learn about services for creating the ideal roadmap.

    7 years ago most of the roadmaps were made in PowerPoint or Excel, now many services have appeared, thanks to which the creation of a roadmap turns into a fascinating activity.

    Why do we need a roadmap?


    The goal of the roadmap is to convey the main goals of the product and the stages of their implementation (in tasks) both to the team members and to external stakeholders (shareholders, customers, partners, etc.).

    A product roadmap consists of a main goal and all planned steps to achieve this goal. It should not include every feature of the product!

    The product roadmap must be constantly updated throughout its life cycle. When forming the requirements for the product, the opinions of the management and the whole team responsible for the production and distribution of the product (product managers, developers, marketers, etc.) should be taken into account.

    It is important to understand that there is no standard for how a roadmap should look like. You can use different templates to display basic data, such as:

    — Product Strategy
    — Release dates
    — Functionality of the product «release to release»

    How to create the perfect roadmap?


    Tables

    Use spreadsheets! For example, Excel — create a file with all the product ideas, prioritize, set deadlines and mark deadlines. However, the tables have their drawbacks. One of the main, in my opinion — the tables do not have sufficient visualization.

    Presentations

    It is better, clearer and more convenient to visualize a roadmap in special tools for creating presentations — PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides. However, a presentation is a document that you have to constantly update manually, and this is a common shortcoming with Excel, Numbers, and other similar services.

    Why should you use specialized services to create roadmaps?

    — Visualization of the product roadmap
    — The ability to work together on a roadmap
    — Timely and convenient update of the roadmap
    — Ability to integrate with third-party services

    Here are the Top-5 platforms for creating roadmaps:
    — Ganttpro
    — Roadmunk
    — Proofhub
    — Roadmap planner
    — Taskworld

    So, you have chosen the service! Where to begin? How to create the perfect roadmap?

    Stages of creating a roadmap


    1. Define a strategy!
    Understand what is the main «pain» of the client, and how your product can solve it. Make sure that all the people on your team understand how you and your product will save the client from this pain. Mark the desired product functionality in the roadmap.

    2. Product functionality.
    Link the implementation of the features of the product to specific dates, specific releases. Mark it in a roadmap.

    3. Set priorities!
    You should always remember your customers and their needs.
    Various metrics can help you (AARRR, HEART) — study them, and do not be afraid to change the roadmap depending on the results obtained.

    4. Sharing a roadmap
    Remember the necessity and importance of communication. Modern tools for creating road maps make the process of teamwork interaction simple and convenient.

    The roadmap is a unique tool for team work on a product, as well as for management purposes.
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