How do you make a product roadmap?

Are there any must read books or resources on the subject?

Here some things I have learned about building a product roadmap for a software business:

  • It’s a living document. Don’t see the roadmap as fixed & unable to change. Changing roadmap every week is (probably) a terrible idea but so is thinking you plan for a year then you are all done. It’s inevitable that you will be bringing new information into product discussion so it’s never appropriate to stick to a completely fixed plan.
  • There’s often more than one! Think about it…there isn’t just one person who cares about your roadmap. 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 all about the input - You have to understand the demands from your customers, market and internal teams to design a product that really packs a punch
  • Bring data to roadmap decisions - It’s very easy to start getting pulled around by your most demanding customers or loudest internal voices. Understand the requirements of your stakeholders & their priority. Back all decisions up with hard data.
  • Automate - Our roadmaps are automatically built & updated using our own product, Receptive. Prioritized requirements are automatically gathered and as features change status, the roadmaps are updated. This is a HUGE time-saver….roadmaps can become an unwieldy admin task for your product team if you are not careful.

Did you find this useful? Feel free to upvote my original Quora post here.



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