The product management guide

Aha! helps product managers get their mojo back

What is a product roadmap?

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:

  • It drives organizational consensus and support for where the product is headed
  • It provides a mechanism to determine what level of development investment is needed to deliver the features and functionality specified in the roadmap
  • It provides a framework for the entire organization to plan for the future of the product
  • It offers a low cost and low risk way for the organization to capture customer and market feedback on where the product is headed.

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.

What is the best way to share a product roadmap?

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:

  • Engineering: The engineering team will require the high-level strategy, goals and vision (the ‘why’) with every detail for the releases, features and requirements (the ‘when’ and ‘what’).
  • Marketing: The marketing team will need to know the detailed strategy, goals and vision, with more emphasis on the overall benefits to the customer by releases and features.
  • Sales: The sales organization is going to be mostly interested in what functionality the customer is going to receive, by when and why they should care (what is in it for them). They will want to know when they can inform their customers that the new functionality is coming, as well.
  • Management and the board: The management team and board members will want to understand how the product plan aligns to the vision, strategy, goals and high level corporate metrics. They are going to want to know how the releases are impacting the business.
Fred mojo 2 w440px.af24640743acbd670f7464b13ac27c72

Roadmap software to manage your products.
Finally, connect strategy to execution.