Product Roadmap
What is a product roadmap?

Product roadmap is nothing but a communication and collaboration tool that suggests how the product offering is going to help a company in achieving it's vision. Key objective of any company in general is to add happiness in customer's life and happiness achieved could be measured by visualizing expansion made by customers. The expansion could be related to his business, monitory or personal life as well.

Now if we try to impose the vision of a company to product management department then we would find that the department would have two major goals to achieve. Through values offered by the product, product management department would either have to acquire new customers or retain customers.

Whom is the product roadmap meant for?

Product roadmap is meant for,

  • Customer

  • Sales and Marketing

  • Partner and Dealer

  • Customer Support

  • Developer

What is the roadmap helpful for above stakeholders?

For customer - Roadmap for customer will have information about new values being delivered in product in near future. This information will not only excite the customer but will also help him to plan his business better. He could relate his business expansion plan with the product offering. Customers could also initiate communication with product company as well to ask for some unmet needs in the same line.

Sales and marketing - Roadmap would help sales and marketing team to come up with new customers acquisition plan. Based on the weightage of product offering, marketing team would be plan for readiness of collaterals, events, product positioning statements, advertisements that could either be audio or visual based, web contents, etc. Based on number of new customers acquisition plan, sales team could be ready with enablement program for their eco-system as well as the plan to reach out to 'x' number of prospects so that 'y' number of customers can be made.

For partner and dealer - Roadmap helps dealer to enhance their business plan. Based on new value proposition by product company, dealer can plan to venture into new customer segments.

By the time product releases, he would have ample time for market segmentation and can also plan for go to market strategy. They would work with parent company's sales and marketing team to have a common voice for customers and market as well.

What is the roadmap helpful for above stakeholders?

For customer - Roadmap for customer will have information about new values being delivered in product in near future. This information will not only excite the customer but will also help him to plan his business better. He could relate his business expansion plan with the product offering. Customers could also initiate communication with product company as well to ask for some unmet needs in the same line.

For Sales and marketing - Roadmap would help sales and marketing team to come up with new customers acquisition plan. Based on the weightage of product offering, marketing team would be plan for readiness of collaterals, events, product positioning statements, advertisements that could either be audio or visual based, web contents, etc. Based on number of new customers acquisition plan, sales team could be ready with enablement program for their eco-system as well as the plan to reach out to 'x' number of prospects so that 'y' number of customers can be made.

For Partner and dealer - Roadmap helps dealer to enhance their business plan. Based on new value proposition by product company, dealer can plan to venture into new customer segments. By the time product releases, he would have ample time for market segmentation and can also plan for go to market strategy. They would work with parent company's sales and marketing team to have a common voice for customers and market as well.

For Customer support - Roadmap would help customer support to get their team ready for training programs and tools to handle customer's queries. They would have ample amount of time to plan whether to go ahead with the existing team or plan for new hireing as well.

For Developer - Roadmap will help developer to plan features to be released in the given period of time. Based on development methodologies been adopted by companies, they could plan deliveries story points or function points. In nutshell, it focuses on prioritization and deliveries of features, milestones, releases and sprints.

Who creates product roadmap?

Product roadmap is created and owned by person(s) responsible for success of the product. The person can either be the VP, product manager, product owner or owner of the company as well.

What are the benefits of product roadmap?
  • It acts as a communication tool through which product development team reaches out to other departments of the company, dealers and customers to let them know about the product offerings.

  • It acts as a communication tool through which product development team reaches out to other departments of the company, dealers and customers to let them know about the product offerings.

  • It acts as a collaboration tool for eco-system to understand the product offering and plan their future course of actions. Eco-system can also reach out to the custodian of product roadmap with suggestion of modification thus facilitates discussion.

  • Product roadmap for management covers goals for multiple products. Thus it act as a good strategy document for them to refer and plan their resources, cost and time of delivery.

  • This helps every individuals of an organisation to plan for their contribution in the success of the product.

  • For developers it is a very good tool to prioritise their task and deliveries.

  • For stakeholders it helps to track the progress of their goals.

  • Roadmaps helps stakeholders to be connected and stay aligned.

How often should the product roadmap be updated?

Product roadmap contains information about major releases with an intended plan to achieve its goals and benefits. The range of activities planned in the roadmap should be for an year. Hence it would be advisable for companies to update it once every quarter. But for start-up companies whose major focus is to attain as many customers as possible in short duration. It would be appropriate for them to visit roadmap as frequent as possible. Ideally once a sprint or a month.

 

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