Product roadmap templates

Product roadmaps are multipurpose visual tools. Every product manager needs one — several, actually. A strategic roadmap can reveal a compelling story about your product goals. A release roadmap highlights the timing of when you will deliver new functionality for customers. And a features roadmap can align your agile development team on timing and priorities. Together, these different roadmaps paint a complete picture of your product plans.

But where to start? What is the best approach for your product development team? Some teams can get by with building and managing product roadmaps in static spreadsheets or presentations. (And we have plenty of those that you can download for free from this guide.)

Most teams quickly tire of playing version control whack-a-mole. It is hard to showcase progress when you are worried about outdated roadmaps floating around. All that value you plan to deliver to users and to the business gets overshadowed when an executive presents a now-obsolete roadmap to stakeholders.

Many organizations experience transformative gains by choosing a robust roadmapping tool like Aha! Roadmaps that includes everything you need to build breakthrough products — from setting strategy to creating product plans and measuring value. Some folks prefer a lightweight whiteboard option such as Aha! Create to sketch out ideas that they can quickly visualize on a timeline.

Customize a lightweight roadmap in Aha! Create. Sign up for a free account.

As your products and processes evolve, you may be ready for more robust and flexible roadmaps that are automatically updated and connected to your daily work. For example, the roadmap below — created in Aha! Roadmaps — provides a snapshot of strategic initiatives that can be drilled into to reveal the associated work items.

Components of a product roadmap

Time and work. Distill a product roadmap down to its essence and those are the two main components that you will find. There will be some sense of timing, whether it is detailed down to specific dates or generalized to categories such as “now, next, later.” And there will be some representation of work, whether those are comprehensive releases filled with features or basic themes the product development team will pursue.

A product roadmap should answer:

  1. Why are we doing this?

  2. When are we doing this?

  3. What exactly are we doing?

The products you build today represent the future of the business and a meaningful investment from the organization. Strategy is the underpinning of a successful roadmap. The items you choose to add to your product roadmap should be validated against your product goals and initiatives, rolling up to overall business strategy.

Some of the components you can expect to see on a product roadmap include:

  • Goals: Measurable, time-bound objectives with clearly defined success metrics

  • Initiatives: High-level efforts or big themes of work that need to be completed to achieve goals

  • Release: Delivery of a new customer experience

  • Features: New or improved functionality that delivers value to users

  • Epics: Large bodies of work that describes major areas of functionality, delivered incrementally across many releases

  • User stories: Functionality described from an end-user perspective — including what the user wants to do and why

  • Timeline: Time scale can range from days and weeks to months, quarters, and sometimes even years

  • Status: Indicators that represent progress and risks

  • Dependencies: Interrelated work that could impact progress

  • Milestones: Significant points in development

Product roadmap examples

Product teams rely on different types of product roadmaps to present information in varying levels of detail. What you choose to show depends on your audience and the information you want to communicate.

Example product strategy roadmap

A product strategy roadmap visualizes progress against product goals, along with the initiatives the team will pursue to achieve those goals. You may choose to roll product goals up to higher-level business goals to show exactly how the product development team’s work will support the organization’s objectives.

Example product innovation roadmap

A product innovation roadmap focuses on how a company will achieve an innovation strategy. This type of roadmap includes strategic goals, initiatives, and critical areas of investment.

Example agile product roadmap

An agile product roadmap shows major themes of work on a loose timeline. It is not common to see an agile roadmap with specific date ranges — usually spanning the length of a quarter or two.

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Starter product roadmap templates

You will need to share your product plans with a variety of stakeholders — from executives to customers to partners — at various stages throughout the product development process. With these audiences, you want to share just enough information. Diving into the details of exact timing or detailed functionality will distract from your message. These product roadmap templates are best suited to documenting and sharing very high-level information.

Strategy roadmap templates

Your product strategy defines what you want to achieve (your goals) and how you plan to get there (your initiatives). Visualize both of these strategic elements with the help of a roadmap — giving you a big-picture view of your path to product success.

Goals roadmap templates

Rally your team around your overarching objectives and provide context for what needs to be accomplished and when. The roadmap templates below give you two different ways to visualize your goals. The first template shows a timeline for completing individual goals. The second goals roadmap template shows how releases for a portfolio of products contribute to your goals over time.

Initiatives roadmap templates

Initiatives represent the high-level efforts needed to achieve your goals. Choose an initiatives roadmap to provide progress updates to leadership and other stakeholders. The first template shows a timeline for completing different initiatives and the goals they support. The next one goes a level deeper and shows how specific product releases across your portfolio contribute to business initiatives.

Portfolio roadmap templates

If you manage multiple products, you need a roadmap that showcases your entire portfolio and helps internal teams understand how their plans relate to each other. The Excel template below shows release timelines and date markers for each product within a portfolio. You can also expand each swimlane and include initiatives for each product. The PowerPoint portfolio roadmap template uses simple swimlanes to show relevant releases for multiple products.

Release roadmap templates

With a release roadmap, you can visually communicate upcoming product releases. Release roadmaps display key activities that must be completed to bring your release to market — such as phases, tasks, and features. Use this type of roadmap when you need to coordinate release efforts with other teams like product marketing, sales, and customer support.

The first release roadmap template uses a Gantt chart to highlight the phases and tasks that make up the overall release plan. The second template shows upcoming releases, planned delivery dates, and the top features that will be included in each release.

Epic roadmap templates

Many product teams use epics to categorize features and plan large bodies of work that span multiple releases. Epic roadmaps are useful for communicating these broader updates to leadership teams and other stakeholders.

The epic roadmap templates below offer two ways to visualize your epics over time. You can customize the timelines to fit your needs, use markers to indicate releases or milestones, and change colors to indicate groupings or statuses.

Feature roadmap templates

Feature roadmaps are detailed. This type of roadmap is all about near-term product plans. Not the type of thing you would reveal to a customer or partner — but perfect for keeping the product development team on track. The roadmap templates below show monthly and weekly timelines for individual features. In the first one, you can track the status of each feature by changing the color of the bar. The second template is a simplified view showing notable features that will be delivered each month.

Agile product roadmap templates

Agile product teams often use elements like themes, user stories, and tasks to structure their work. This structure can carry over to your agile roadmap. For example, instead of organizing by initiatives and releases, the agile roadmap template below displays strategic themes and epics. The swimlanes show how effort aligns with strategy. If you do not subscribe to a specific methodology, this is a good agile roadmap template to begin with. .

Scrum product roadmap template

This scrum roadmap template is designed for engineering teams that follow scrum methodology. It shows where specific user stories fit within upcoming sprints. This simple roadmap is helpful for sharing development progress updates and communicating when new functionality will be demoed for stakeholders.

Kanban product roadmap template

If your team follows kanban methodology, this roadmap template might look familiar — it resembles a kanban board. While kanban boards are used to monitor work in progress, this kanban roadmap template portrays a long-range view. Use this template when you need to set expectations for internal and external stakeholders without committing to a specific time frame.

SAFe® product roadmap template

This Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) roadmap template will help you visualize your program increment (PI) milestones and objectives over a six-month time frame. SAFe® roadmaps offer visibility into current PI deliverables and forecasted PIs. It also helps to ensure that near-term plans align with overall business priorities before PIs are committed.

Product roadmap videos

The videos below give best practices on how to create some of the most common types using Aha! Roadmaps:

Strategy roadmap video

Highlight the goals and initiatives that the team will pursue.

Portfolio roadmap video

Show planned releases across multiple products.

Features roadmap video

Communicate the timeline and details of new product functionality.

Frequently asked questions about product roadmaps

What is a product roadmap?
A product roadmap is a visualization of your product plans — from your strategic goals and initiatives down to individual product features. Product roadmaps indicate where your product is headed, your timeline, and the work required to get there.

Product managers use product roadmaps to communicate progress and priorities. Roadmaps are essential visual tools in presentations to internal teams or external stakeholders, like partners or customers. A solid product roadmap also helps product teams assess how new requests for functionality align with the product's strategic direction and work that is already planned.

If you are just getting started, our introductory product roadmap guides offer a good foundation:

What elements are included on a product roadmap?
A roadmap typically includes the following components:

  • Product goals

  • Strategic initiatives

  • Key releases

  • Features or feature sets (epics)

  • Overall timeline

  • Visual elements (e.g., colors and swimlanes)

What are swimlanes on a product roadmap?
Swimlanes on a product roadmap are visual representations of different groups of data. For example, you might use swimlanes to display all of the features that make up a release.

How often should you update your product roadmap?
Product roadmaps are dynamic. As your plans change, so should your roadmap. How often you update your roadmap is up to you — but it is important that your product roadmap reflects current goals and progress. This keeps the team aligned on priorities and promotes transparent communication. The most efficient way to do this is by using purpose-built software that automatically integrates strategic planning with roadmapping. That way you can be sure your product plans are always up to date.

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