As your enterprise evolves, it is vital to integrate strategic planning. Even if previously effective, the lack of process documentation or a concrete plan may no longer suffice once your company expands and product deliveries become more crucial for business success.
With increasing demand for your enterprise, it is imperative to establish a strategy that facilitates not only growth, but also productivity and efficiency.
What precisely does the term “product road map” entail?
You may be curious about the definition of a product roadmap. Essentially, it is a dependable document that outlines the following:
It is crucial for all stakeholders involved in product development to consistently consult the Roadmap. This diagram offers an overview of the production processes, keeping all team members up-to-date on the progress. The Roadmap functions as the team’s primary product plan and encourages more effective collaboration.
Product roadmaps enable you to accomplish tasks such as:
- Facilitate agreement among team members regarding a particular product.
- Provide managers with full autonomy persistently.
- Promote communication and collaboration among teams.
Now that we have established what a “Product Roadmap” is, let us delve into the procedure for creating one.
One of the initial steps is to determine the direction the product will take.
The initial phase involves determining a path for the product. This process will address the following considerations:
- When contemplating the reasons for developing this product, it is important to ask why.
- Who is the target audience for this product?
- What purpose does your product serve for your target audience?
- What will be the product’s distinctive selling proposition in comparison to its competitors?
- What is the level of difficulty involved in launching the product in the market?
- When and where will the customers be able to purchase this product?
Upon answering the questions above, you will possess a comprehensive comprehension of the fundamental notions regarding the product. This information is critical since proceeding without it will cause a lack of confidence.
Focus on your ideas.
After creating a product plan, it may become clear that some of the initial suppositions were incorrect. This step is crucial as the first ideas may not be developed enough to be practical.
To ensure the effectiveness of this phase, it is suggested to implement a system for evaluating ideas and concepts. Concept management programs like Brightidea, Remesh, Miro, or Bluescape can assist in carrying out this task. These programs enable users to objectively assess which ideas warrant further exploration and which can be disregarded without bias.
Product features must be identified
All aspects of the product must be aligned with the plan. To prevent wastage of resources, any feature which contradicts the strategy or does not bring value to the product or plan must be eliminated from the roadmap. Consequently, it is crucial to generate a list of all the features that the product currently possesses.
Organize the product’s life cycle.
After developing your concept into a practical product, you can proceed to map out the different stages of its development. It is recommended to start by recognizing key milestones (such as Alpha, Beta and final release dates) and then fill in the gaps (such as user experience design deadlines, primary code upload, quality assurance and testing, user experience improvement, and bug fixing).
It is necessary to decide on the type of roadmap to implement. There are four primary categories for product roadmaps:
- A portfolio displays plans for multiple product launches.
- Strategy – showcases the goals and broad initiatives required by each team for a successful product release.
- A release plan is a document that outlines all the necessary steps that need to be taken before a product can be made available to the public.
- The “Features” section offers an approximate launch date for each upcoming addition.
Each of these options can be implemented separately or in conjunction with each other.
It is now appropriate to start inputting product information into a Project Management system (e.g. LiquidPlanner, Teamwork, Zoho Projects, ProofHub, or TeamGantt). This process will require time and effort, so it is crucial to be as complete as possible while inputting information about the product at this stage, including the teams responsible for the product at each phase.
Establish teams and allocate members to them.
Now that the product’s life cycle has been planned out and integrated into the project management software, it’s time to assign teams and team members to each stage of the roadmap. To ensure that all tasks are broken down into the smallest possible components, it is probable that the same amount of time will be required for this step as was initially needed for entering the information into the software.
It is crucial to assign definite tasks to each team member and establish practical deadlines for completion to ensure smooth progression of the project.
Share the plan.
After finalizing your roadmap, it is important to share it with the team accountable for product development and launch. Automation of the process should now be feasible, or manual handling should be feasible if the roadmap has been constructed correctly.
A thoughtfully crafted release plan is critical to achieve a successful launch of your product. It’s essential to allocate enough time to design a comprehensive and efficient plan. Failure to do so could jeopardize the anticipated outcome. However, if the release plan is successfully executed, it will act as a roadmap for the entire life cycle of the product.