How do you plan a yearly roadmap with high confidence commitment from a scrum team?

When transitioning from traditional methods, into Agile/Scrum, I find it hard to answer the need for 1-2 years roadmap visible for management, sales, customers and others. Not only in shape of vision and strategy, rather than concrete features and values introduced into the product throughout the next 4-8 quarters.
Scrum team do not have detailed PRD's to go through, discovery sessions for next user stories will usually cover no more than a couple of months ahead.
And yet, as a product manager I would like to get some level of commitment, for features released in the next year or two.

Great question! As someone who also had to transition from a waterfall methodology of running software products, the sprint approach was a challenge so I hear you!

Just wrote an answer to a similar question where I covered the need to have multiple roadmaps, tailored to each stakeholder. Full post here and relevant section copied below:

“A huge turning point for me was when I realised that different groups of people care about different information. For example we currently run 3 roadmaps:

    • Leadership - we have a theme-based, high level roadmap split into quarters
    • Customers & prospects - high level roadmap showing simply what we have in development & what is planned. You can see that here.
    • Development team - Detailed feature level roadmap is accessed and owned by product/development”

It’s incredibly important to have a direction for your product which ties into the company strategy. Without that you can’t really plan for anything! What we do is:

  • Understand the longer term company goals
  • Devise a high-level “leadership” roadmap which has themes and timings split into quarters (note this is a great resources for our sales team too)
  • Run a low-level “feature” roadmap with the development team. This is where we take the themes, understand what is required then use JIRA to manage the tasks and development process

Just being aware of the need for high-level and lower level sprint/feature roadmap is a huge step in the right direction.

The management of all of this needn’t be a chore either; we’ve automated all of this usingReceptive which saves hours of our product manager’s time.

It would be good to hear how you end up solving this one!

See the original Quora post here.

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