A product roadmap is a plan that matches short-term and long-term business goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals. Roadmapping is the exercise of building a product roadmap. Roadmaps can apply to new products or services or existing offerings.
Product managers typically lead the roadmapping process but seek cross-functional input from engineering, sales, marketing and the executive team to ensure that the plan will deliver against the higher level business objectives. Developing a roadmap has four major uses:
At Aha! we view product roadmapping as the process of setting a product roadmap. And a product roadmap is nothing more than a plan for how the product is going to meet a set of business objectives.
A great roadmap starts with a clear product vision and a canvas that explains the customer and market forces that will shape the product’s direction. In Aha! we call this plan a strategy and a strategy has many components which cover: customer needs, market size, company strengths, sales channels, positioning, competition, partners, etc.
Various stakeholders in the organization are going to require different levels of information in the product roadmap. The challenge is to be able to segment the roadmap information in the most effective way for each stakeholder. Here’s a brief summary of the level of information and considerations for some of the key stakeholders in the organization: