Product Roadmap: Way to build and plan product backlog strategically

Let’s discuss the steps involved in building the product roadmap.

  • Define your strategy: If you have been following me from the start, you have prepared a good product strategy already. If you haven’t, please read my previous blog as to how to build “A good Product strategy” for details. Nevertheless, product strategy, in a nutshell, is how you are going to turn your product vision into reality.
  • Highlight release details: As a next step, it’s always important to highlight the release details as part of the product roadmap. Releases could be internal and external customer release. You can also create different views for specific customers, allowing your audience to see roadmaps that are relevant to their particular business objectives.
  • Prioritize features: Now, it’s a time for you to prioritize the roadmap based on the organizational strategy/initiatives, resource availability, funds, customer feedback, competitor analysis and market trends.
  • Communicate & regularly update roadmap: Communication and transparency are essential to building great products. They’re also a must for keeping entire organizations aligned with your strategy. Don’t forget to update it regularly, which makes it transparent, and people working on it gets excited and feels motivated.

Products/Service/Department: This is the primary driver to build the roadmap.

  • A product can be a software, service, idea, method, or information that satisfies a need or a want. It has a combination of tangible and intangible attributes (benefits, features, functions, uses) that a seller offers a buyer for purchase.

Goals: This you get after defining product strategy.

  • Goals are measurable, time-bound objectives that have clearly defined success metrics associated with them. They are included in a product roadmap to show the critical accomplishments required to make the product vision a reality.

Initiatives: This is part of a strategy but little detail about the efforts required.

  • Strategic initiatives represent high-level efforts or big themes of work that need to be completed to achieve the goals. You can overlay initiatives in a roadmap to show how specific releases and features relate to the strategy.

Releases: Milestone you are identifying and setting to achieve goals defined above.

  • A release is typically the launch of new functionality for a product that provides value to customers. Versions often contain epics or multiple features that get delivered at the same time.

Epics: A way to identify and define tremendous stories.

  • An epic is a significant user story that cannot get delivered as defined within a single release. It is often broken down into small features or user stories that can get read incrementally.

Features: This is considered as a value delivered to the user.

  • A feature represents new or improved functionality that delivers value to users. Features provide more detailed information about new functionality.

User stories: End-user perspective.

  • A user story defines a new software feature from an end-user perspective, including what the user wants and why. You can use the words “features” and “user stories” interchangeably.

Time: Timescale and duration.

  • Product roadmaps typically include dates to show when new products and updates to existing ones will be completed and released. The time scale used depends on the level of detail required and can range from days and weeks to months, quarters, and sometimes even years.

Status: Indicators to show a team’s progress against the plan.

  • Product roadmaps are even more useful when they clearly explain how the team is progressing against planned work. Status indicators for goals, initiatives, releases, epics, and features are a great way to highlight the current state of a plan.
  • Portfolio Roadmap
  • Strategy Roadmap
  • Releases Roadmap
  • Features Roadmap

Further reading:

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Shruti Dwivedi

Shruti Dwivedi

Data Product Manager. Building products that are capable of solving the customer’s problem. Customer obsession & ownership are the two principles that I believe