Product Roadmaps Relaunched: Chapter 2 Notes

Investigating the primary and secondary components of a successful roadmap.

Sun, 11 Nov 2018

A document that can effectively rally people around a plan needs to be more than just a list of features and dates. It needs to tell the story of what it will be like when you achieve your vision, what it will take to get there, and how you will know if you are making progress.

Primary Components

Product Vision

We think of a product vision as a description of how a specific sort of customer will benefit from your product when it is fully realized and ubiquitous.

Business Objectives

These are the goals and outcomes that your product will deliver to the business. They describe the measurements that will change as you release.

Timeframes

Broad (aka. non-specific like quarters or “Now, Next and Later”) timeframes are better than exact dates.

Themes

Themes are the customer needs and problems that your features will address.

Disclaimer

Protects you and the customer from assuming that the roadmap is a promise.

Developing the Wombat Roadmap

Here they take a fictional hose company and write a product vision and roadmap for it.

Secondary Components

These are optional components that will enhance your roadmap in important ways.

Features and solutions

The specific deliverables that will fulfil the needs and solve the problems identified in the themes.

Stage of Development

The roadmap could show labels like beta or design or prototyping to indicate the state of each feature. This helps the customers understand what to expect.

Confidence

Indicating the level of confidence is a great way to offset the sense that it’s a promise. It’s like an advanced disclaimer.

Target Customers

You can call out cohorts of customers if you have more than one.

Product Areas

Roadmaps for large orgs can have product areas which each have separate business objectives.

Secondary components added to the roadmap

Here they take the secondary components and add some of them to the roadmap.

Complementary Information

These are things that you probably don’t want directly on the roadmap but should have to hand anyway in case stakeholders ask.

There’s no specific list. Just a bunch of examples.

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David Tuite

Platform Product Manager at Workday. Ex. JavaScript and Ruby developer