What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is used to communicate your product’s strategic direction and help everyone stay focused on the work that matters most. It visualizes your high-level goals and strategic initiatives, the major bodies of work that will help you achieve the goals, and progress towards achieving them.

All sorts of product teams build roadmaps — from software companies to toy manufacturers. Product roadmaps are useful for products and services that are sold directly to customers, marketed to other businesses, or made for internal users.

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In addition to strategic initiatives, a product roadmap will typically also include upcoming releases, epics, and features that will be delivered to help you reach your short- and long-term goals. You can use the roadmap to communicate with internal and external stakeholders — as well as make tradeoff decisions about priorities.

This strategic roadmap was created in Aha! Roadmaps.

Product roadmaps often include the following components:

  • Product goals

  • Strategic initiatives

  • Key releases and features that deliver on the goals

  • Feature sets (or epics)

  • Major users stories or features

  • Overall timeline

It might be easy to assume that you should only have one product roadmap. This may be true if your organization has one product. Even a portfolio of products should share the same overall strategic direction.

But there is a lot of nuance when it comes to building product roadmaps. After all, you will have different audiences to present to. This is one reason it is so important to understand how to create a roadmap that can be customized to your needs and team. To learn more, read our complete product management guide — with expert tips on product strategy, roadmaps, release management, and more.

And when you are ready to build your own product roadmap, you can get started with a free 30 day trial of Aha! Roadmaps — our purpose-built roadmapping tool.

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