The Product Roadmap is “a schedule of events and milestones that forecasts and communicates planned solution deliverables over a time horizon.” A roadmap can help visualize and track the necessary deliverables and milestones.
While forecasting is inherently uncertain, roadmaps are required to:
- Steer significant initiatives - used to plan and coordinate activities and deliverables to achieve the business objectives
- Prepare for releases - understand how solutions will be implemented so stakeholders can plan how they will achieve the vision or implement the solution in their environment.
- Address strategic concerns - identity new releases to ensure strategy alignment and compliance
- Align stakeholders - align internal stakeholders (i.e. finance, sales, and marketing) with the development organization in order to establish financial forecasts, build and execute sales and marketing campaigns, and communicate with partners/customers.
(Source: Roadmap - Scaled Agile Framework)
We recommend that organizations create a customer-centric roadmap to forecast and communicate planned deliverables - which include features, products, or services - rather than business projects or objectives - over time.
- Not customer-centric - The titles of roadmap items that represent business-related pain points (i.e. automation, simplified processes, forecasting, global expansion) are not customer-centric.
- Recommend Roadmap - list customer-centric features related to this project, such as a new feature, workflow, experience or product enhancement.
For each of these customer-centric features, you can qualify and quantify the customer benefits and business value of introducing them.
Additional resources include:
- Roadmap -Scaled Agile Framework
- Working Backwards - process for defining customer-centric solutions
- Development Value Stream - workstream guided by product roadmap
- Operational Value Stream (OVS) - separate workstream that operationalizes customer requests (outside of the product roadmap) using predefined workflows for the expected types of customer requests