The Counter Intuitive Nature Of Product Roadmaps

The book “Inspired” by Marty Cagan breaks down the basics of product management.

One thing that surprised me was how you create a good product roadmap.

A product roadmap is prioritized list of features and projects. A company uses this to 1) ensure we’re working on the highest-value thing first and 2) coordinate across marketing, sales, and various stakeholders.

These are good, and reasonable, needs for a business.

But then why do so many teams get roadmaps wrong, causing waste and failed effort?

Firstly, it’s easy for product teams to immediately slip into a long list of all the features they plan to build, with little real thought into the actual benefits for the customer.

Secondly, it’s often that output (a feature) is put in the spotlight, instead of outcome (business result).

To be highly successful in product you must align the product with business objectives.

If you create a product but it doesn’t support any of the business objectives, increase revenue, decrease costs, increase new business, increase existing business, or increase shareholder value, it’s not helpful to the business and probably not the customer either.

(Otherwise they would be spending more time or money with your business.)

Starting with the business objective in mind, and cutting ties with any specific feature is going to be one major key to a great product roadmap.

Photo by Holden Baxter on Unsplash.

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