Developing a successful product is a very complex process that is full of pitfalls. It all starts with a decent idea that is based on an in-depth analysis of the market and the needs of the audience. However, according to data from the McKinsey Global Institute, for every 7 product ideas, only 1.5 launch, and only 1 succeeds. So the idea is only the beginning of the journey, the most important thing is the implementation of the project. Without proper team synchronization and planning, development is stretched over a long time, and not all initial requirements are met. To prevent problems in product development and increase the chances of success, it is critical to use a strategic document - a product development roadmap. In this article, we’ll explain what a roadmap is, why it’s critical for a product, describe the algorithm for creating a roadmap, and provide an example you can use to create a viable and profitable product.
The product development roadmap is the product vision and the only reliable source of information. A product development roadmap is a strategic and high-level plan of actions that outlines the vision, milestones, and initiatives of a product binding them with a company’s business goals. During development, the product development roadmap serves as the main context for the team’s daily work, and it is modified based on progress and changes made.
The product development roadmap includes development steps and various groups’ roles so that every team member can refer to their strategic role, consider the milestones, and track their progress to make sure they perform their tasks according to plan. Utilizing a product development roadmap has the following benefits.
Roadmaps can be divided into external and internal. Internal roadmaps for the development team contain information about the priority customer value, the main stages of development (sprints), plotted on a timeline. Internal roadmaps for executives are often not very detailed and provide information about the team’s progress toward achieving the main goals. External roadmaps are designed to generate customer interest. These maps should give an idea of the main functions of the product and the direction of its development.
So, as you can see, there are many product development roadmaps. Below, we will describe the main ones.
This roadmap is useful for those who create a project from scratch. The whole process is divided into two stages: development and marketing. Each stage is clearly structured and has its deadlines. This roadmap allows you to coordinate all tasks and processes efficiently and clearly.
This roadmap is great for the release of multiple products. You have several product lines and can track all processes and their status: planned, approved, in development, or completed. Therefore, you can effectively control all processes and coordinate your actions depending on your progress.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a useful framework for setting goals and KPIs for both the broader organization and specific teams within it. This roadmap allows your team to focus on working on the paramount tasks.
An executive-facing portfolio roadmap is a visualization of the product strategy and its implementation schedule. All the plans are connected in a single set, which makes it easier for managers to analyze and check products against business objectives.
Here are the stages you should follow to build a product development roadmap.
1. Set a clear objective
A roadmap is more than just a list of tasks. The roadmap should unite all tasks with a single goal: to achieve product success. So, first, establish a strategy for your product. To do this, adhere to the following rules:
Define the pain(s) your product solves
The key here is to determine solutions to challenges your audience has. Remember that your product should be either exceptional or a killer app that will outperform its competitors.
Analyze the market
Conduct competitive research, find out what makes your competitors unique, and what their value proposition is.
Identify your target audience
Build a profile of your ideal customer to find out who and why will use your product. Thus, all elements should contribute to the strategic achievement of your goal.
2. Assign tasks to certain specialists/groups
For development to be effective, make sure that every task is assigned to a specialist responsible for ensuring that it is completed within the agreed time frame.
3. Keep track of the roadmap regularly and update it as needed
Monitor and update your roadmap as needed. Development is a dynamic process, and milestones and tasks can change. Be sure to keep the cross-functional team dependencies (UX and development) up to date with any necessary changes. To do this, make sure the task board is displayed on the dashboard of all team members.
4. Reprioritize your goals according to new realities
The most successful roadmaps are those that take into account the latest changes. Priorities and resources may alter, so the roadmap is also a dynamic plan. Be sure to prioritize the tasks by importance, and constantly monitor the development process. Be prepared to reprioritize goals and reallocate resources.
There are many templates you can utilize based on your business goals. Here is one of the examples you can use and modify if necessary.
We hope this guide will help you better understand what a product development roadmap looks like and how to develop an effective strategy to get to the top. You can use a specific template and edit it to suit your objectives. If you are looking for a company to create a first-class product for you, Yojji specialists have the knowledge and skills you need. Contact us for more information.
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