All About Product Roadmapping Part II: How to Build a Product Roadmap

Posted on : 12 Dec, 06:24 AM

In our previous article, we shared with you how we build our product teams, the roles and responsibilities of each team member and what a product roadmap entails and how we use this process to eliminate the frustrations customers have when having lengthy product requirements and needs that may not be met and to ensure a successful product outcome from planning to delivery. In this article, we’d like to share with you how you can build a detailed product roadmap and inside tips on how your roadmap can stand out.


After gathering all the necessary information on the vision, objectives, and requirements, the product team can begin building the product roadmap. 

Planning and Prioritizing Your Roadmap

Once you have your list of categorized requirements, you can start to identify the product's major themes. In product roadmaps, themes are a series of similar product features, epics, or initiatives grouped according to a larger, strategic objective they share. They are ideally described in terms of customer value.

For prioritization, our teams use two main practices: MoSCow and Value Effort Metrics. We decide on either prioritization technique depending on the requirements and product objectives. In a project where we know the end-user and customer demographic very well, the MoSCow technique will be our choice of prioritization tool. With an end-user/customer population we maybe know less about, we’ll go with the value effort metrics tool.


Here are some tips one of our product owners suggests for the prioritization process:

  • Approach prioritization as a team activity. You get different perspectives. It’s also a lot more fun.
  • Limit the number of items you are prioritizing — focus on the biggest items rather than the details. “medium” and “large” will be helpful during the process.
  • Before you begin prioritizing, it’s helpful if you understand the customer value of each initiative. The customer value should be rooted in evidence that you’ve gathered from customers rather than your opinions.
  • Start with a rough estimate of the cost/effort for each item. Even T-shirt sizing of “small”, “Medium” and “Large”.


Taking another look at our rideshare example, the list of features may look something like this:


Ride Ordering:

  • Locating Nearby Driver
  • Driver Information
  • Reservation – onsite
  • Payment methods
  • Customer support
  • Live Tracking
  • Wallet
  • Order Scheduling
  • Friends Referral

Themes:

  • Ordering
  • Payment
  • Increasing Engagement
  • Order Fulfillment

Building Your Roadmap

When you are building your roadmap, you want to make sure you make it as visually pleasing and reader-friendly as possible. Here are a few tips from our product team when it comes to building your roadmap:

 

Use color 

Color is a great way to represent how your roadmap ties to the product vision or strategic objectives. Color-code each item on your roadmap to help people make the connection between each initiative and how it fits into the bigger picture.  

 

Use large fonts 

People have a limited amount of time to digest your strategy, so use large fonts, especially if you are presenting your roadmap on a projector or in an online meeting. Think of your roadmap very much like a presentation and you’ll be ahead of the game.  

 

Keep it high-level

Remember that you are telling a story about how your strategy fits with the product vision. So tell the story in big, bold strokes rather than diving into the details. If you can, create logical groupings of initiatives to make the roadmap easier to grasp. 

 

When our product team builds out roadmaps, we set up the user story map as our first step. The user story map displays all of our themes and under each theme exists our categories of features and epics. From here, under each epic and feature, we will list the appropriate user stories.


Going back to our rideshare example, if the first epic in theme one is Safety and the first feature is car info, a user story beneath this feature may include something like a user receiving a notification when they confirm their order that they are required to wear a mask. 

 

Communicating Your Roadmap

Executing the communication of your roadmap with the client is a pivotal step in the process. Here are some tips one of our product owners suggests everyone follows when communicating the roadmap to the client: 

 

Come Prepared

  • Structure your presentation
  • Anticipate objections
  • Provide specific examples

 

Know Your Audience

  • Tailor the amount of detail shown
  • Use appropriate language

 

Communicate Status

  • Include the "percent complete" for each initiative on your roadmap
  • Filter your initiatives by status
  • Archive older versions of the roadmap

 

Wrap Up

How your software vendor handles the planning period of your projects will have an impressive impact on the product outcome. At Integrant, our customer-centric product teams take great pride in our product roadmapping process. Without a process as in-depth and detail-oriented as this one, the success of our projects would be undoubtedly altered. If you’re ready to work with a dedicated and thoughtful software development team, contact our experts today! 

 

Related Posts

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All About Product Roadmapping Part II: How to Build a Product Roadmap

Posted on : 12 Dec, 06:24 AM

In our previous article, we shared with you how we build our product teams, the roles and responsibilities of each team member and what a product roadmap entails and how we use this process to eliminate the frustrations customers have when having lengthy product requirements and needs that may not be met and to ensure a successful product outcome from planning to delivery. In this article, we’d like to share with you how you can build a detailed product roadmap and inside tips on how your roadmap can stand out.


After gathering all the necessary information on the vision, objectives, and requirements, the product team can begin building the product roadmap. 

Planning and Prioritizing Your Roadmap

Once you have your list of categorized requirements, you can start to identify the product's major themes. In product roadmaps, themes are a series of similar product features, epics, or initiatives grouped according to a larger, strategic objective they share. They are ideally described in terms of customer value.

For prioritization, our teams use two main practices: MoSCow and Value Effort Metrics. We decide on either prioritization technique depending on the requirements and product objectives. In a project where we know the end-user and customer demographic very well, the MoSCow technique will be our choice of prioritization tool. With an end-user/customer population we maybe know less about, we’ll go with the value effort metrics tool.


Here are some tips one of our product owners suggests for the prioritization process:

  • Approach prioritization as a team activity. You get different perspectives. It’s also a lot more fun.
  • Limit the number of items you are prioritizing — focus on the biggest items rather than the details. “medium” and “large” will be helpful during the process.
  • Before you begin prioritizing, it’s helpful if you understand the customer value of each initiative. The customer value should be rooted in evidence that you’ve gathered from customers rather than your opinions.
  • Start with a rough estimate of the cost/effort for each item. Even T-shirt sizing of “small”, “Medium” and “Large”.


Taking another look at our rideshare example, the list of features may look something like this:


Ride Ordering:

  • Locating Nearby Driver
  • Driver Information
  • Reservation – onsite
  • Payment methods
  • Customer support
  • Live Tracking
  • Wallet
  • Order Scheduling
  • Friends Referral

Themes:

  • Ordering
  • Payment
  • Increasing Engagement
  • Order Fulfillment

Building Your Roadmap

When you are building your roadmap, you want to make sure you make it as visually pleasing and reader-friendly as possible. Here are a few tips from our product team when it comes to building your roadmap:

 

Use color 

Color is a great way to represent how your roadmap ties to the product vision or strategic objectives. Color-code each item on your roadmap to help people make the connection between each initiative and how it fits into the bigger picture.  

 

Use large fonts 

People have a limited amount of time to digest your strategy, so use large fonts, especially if you are presenting your roadmap on a projector or in an online meeting. Think of your roadmap very much like a presentation and you’ll be ahead of the game.  

 

Keep it high-level

Remember that you are telling a story about how your strategy fits with the product vision. So tell the story in big, bold strokes rather than diving into the details. If you can, create logical groupings of initiatives to make the roadmap easier to grasp. 

 

When our product team builds out roadmaps, we set up the user story map as our first step. The user story map displays all of our themes and under each theme exists our categories of features and epics. From here, under each epic and feature, we will list the appropriate user stories.


Going back to our rideshare example, if the first epic in theme one is Safety and the first feature is car info, a user story beneath this feature may include something like a user receiving a notification when they confirm their order that they are required to wear a mask. 

 

Communicating Your Roadmap

Executing the communication of your roadmap with the client is a pivotal step in the process. Here are some tips one of our product owners suggests everyone follows when communicating the roadmap to the client: 

 

Come Prepared

  • Structure your presentation
  • Anticipate objections
  • Provide specific examples

 

Know Your Audience

  • Tailor the amount of detail shown
  • Use appropriate language

 

Communicate Status

  • Include the "percent complete" for each initiative on your roadmap
  • Filter your initiatives by status
  • Archive older versions of the roadmap

 

Wrap Up

How your software vendor handles the planning period of your projects will have an impressive impact on the product outcome. At Integrant, our customer-centric product teams take great pride in our product roadmapping process. Without a process as in-depth and detail-oriented as this one, the success of our projects would be undoubtedly altered. If you’re ready to work with a dedicated and thoughtful software development team, contact our experts today! 

 

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