How to define a efficient product roadmap? what a good question. I would like to share with you the seven points I always check when even making or evaluating a product roadmap
Key insights are the basis of your roadmap. be sure to collect very insights from every possible sources before even starting to think about building a roadmap. Too much roadmaps are build before started. Be sure that you include in your collection Business, environment, sales, strategic inputs. If you have the possibility and I strongly recommend to do so, go to your clients and ask about feedbacks and ideas. Collect quantitative data to back-up your analysis.
Group all your data and informations in order to create patterns and headlines.
If your customers are coming back and back before buying, that’s one pattern.
If technologies are all moving to a precise direction, that’s another pattern.
Those can then help you to define your projects.
Easiest steps in a way. Define from your work the projects that could be launched.
Organize your projects in order to identify the most valuable ones.
Business value is certainly the most common criteria to classify projects. But I would mention « Pain removal » (what level of pain does your project remove from your customer life) and « effort » (what effort is required).
Place your project on a graphical representation. A matrix is a good way. One can add projects classification (improvements, new products or services, breakthrough) and necessary efforts to address the market (new market, existing one with established competitors…)
Select and prioritize the projects
once all that job has been done you should be able to set all your projects propositions into some categories. The ones I use for my portfolio are:
- Fixing: Projects helping to fix bugs, issues and so, starting by the most painful (for the client or the product) with the least effort.
- Improve: This is where you launch projects to improve existing features or stick back to the competitors.
- Disrupt: An major innovation that will help you to go to the Blue Ocean…. Innovate with great I with the projects classified here
I make it visual for better communication.
The mix among the three categories should be carefully stated. There is no perfect mix. It clearly depends of your products, its competitive positioning, its life cycle position… Do it your way but don’t forget to check the business creation value of each of them.
Place it on the time-line
Of course a roadmap is a time-line. So now that you have chosen your projects, just put them on the time-line taking into account delivery dates, development time, important sales events etc…
Start to work 😉