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Build a Visual Product Roadmap to Increase Agreement and Alignment
Your roadmap is your principal tool for communicating the value, path, and priorities for your product or service. Unfortunately, many roadmaps are a list of features and dates that provide little clarity to your key stakeholders. Instead, consider a visual roadmap approach. A strong visual roadmap will facilitate decisions and align teams to your goals.
A visual roadmap aligns your key goals, strategy, and market into a prioritized timeline. According to “Building Your First Visual Product Roadmap,” a free guide published by ProductPlan, the product owner needs to take a calculated approach to building a living roadmap. First, start with what your stakeholders care about. If you don’t understand your audience, you won’t be able to address their needs and concerns. Use your stakeholder analysis to structure your roadmap into actionable items, building backwards from your desired outcome.
Product management tools provide a better way of translating your product changes into a strategic and visual roadmap. The product management tool you select should have a visual roadmap view available, such as ProductPlan, Aha!, Productboard, Airfocus, Targetprocess, Craft, Backlog, ProdPad, and Roadmunk. Some even have presentation view support so you can focus your visual roadmap and content on different stakeholder groups (ProductPlan, Aha!, Productboard, ProdPad, and Roadmunk).
- Projects can learn from products.
While clear-cut distinctions exist, many aspects of product-based delivery will benefit your projects, including dynamic, strategic, and flexible product roadmaps.
- Consider roadmapping as a spectrum.
Don’t treat roadmaps as either tactical, technical, detailed, and committed or strategic, goal based, high level, and flexible. Use elements of both to build the ideal roadmap.
- How flexible do you need to be?
Shorter delivery cycles and greater volatility require more flexibility to drive value with your roadmap.
Want to Know More?
- Create a roadmap that suits your objectives, the characteristics of your product, and the environment it lives in.
- Strengthen the product owner role in your organization by focusing on core capabilities and proper alignment.
The application portfolio management (APM) tool space can be a confusing one, as many software vendors offer their own take of what APM is. Enterprise architecture, application management and project portfolio management tools offer an APM use case, but these are often quite skewed the primary function of the tool.
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ProductPlan makes a strong case for excluding features from your product roadmap. Instead, develop your roadmap using strategic themes.
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Building the best product isn’t about filling our backlogs and roadmaps, it’s about taking the time to determine those few items that will deliver the most value.