A product roadmap is an important strategic framework that provides direction and guidance to internal and external stakeholders. It provides a plan for how the product's vision will be realized and reflects strategic priorities including specific market segments and customer needs.
However, while there’s general agreement that preparing a roadmap is important, the reality is that often roadmaps are not as effective in practice. The problems generally fall into one of three categories:
So, how can you address these problems in your organization?
In the SiriusDecisions Product Marketing and Management Model, we stress the importance of a consistent roadmapping process, resulting in a product roadmap that covers not only near-term plans but the future roadmap. Best-in-class organizations implement standard roadmapping approaches and consistent formats for roadmaps. Not only do they have roadmaps for all individual products and services, but also for product portfolios and broader solutions.
By making sure that product managers are trained on the roadmapping process and templates, and receive appropriate support through the roadmapping process, companies can ensure that their product and solution plans are aligned with longer-term strategic objectives.
Jeff Lash is Vice President and Group Director of Go-to-Market at SiriusDecisions, where he leads the Product Management and Portfolio Marketing Research and Advisory Services. A recognized thought leader in product management, he has over 15 years of experience in product management, product development, product marketing, and user experience design. Follow Jeff on Twitter at @jefflash.