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Create a Brilliant Product Roadmap

Posted in Business Strategy, Customer Insights, Leadership, Product, and Technology

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Full disclosure, I love Aha! Product Management road-mapping software and have introduced it to several companies. When I saw this post by Brian de Haaff, Aha! Founder and CEO, I had to share it. Here’s what Brian shares on how to create a brilliant product roadmap:

Define your strategy. What is the market potential, and who or what stands in your way? Who are your customers? What problems do they have, and how will you solve them? You need to know where you want to go and why. 

Capture the essence of that strategic vision you want to achieve. For your roadmap to succeed, strategy needs to be strong, accessible, and inform everything that you do.

Set measurable goals. Once you have the high-level vision of what you want to achieve, it’s time to nail down the specifics needed to accomplish that vision. You need a metric to assess progress.

Identify some key goals, and make sure they are measurable both in time and efficacy. Goals will keep you honest and give you something tangible to work towards when the finish line feels like it’s off in outer space.

Establish initiatives. If you have goals, why do you need initiatives? Well, goals do not achieve themselves. You need initiatives — the large efforts required to meet those goals. It is another part of breaking down that strategic vision into discrete steps.

Define the work. Now it’s time to nail down the specific work to be done. Product teams at software companies often call the individual units of work “features” and group those features into “releases.” But let’s forget nomenclature for a moment.

The point is that for a roadmap to address the holistic plan, you need to be able to identify and define unique tasks, and then bucket them into the general time frames when they will be completed.

Share the product roadmap. There are many different kinds of roadmaps, and which one you create depends on what you need to build and show — and to whom. Take a look at the planned work, goals and initiatives, and strategic vision. Consider your audience and tailor your message to their needs and interests.

Remember: Every solid roadmap begins and ends with strategy. Get that part right, and you can successfully build a beautiful visual roadmap that actually takes you somewhere meaningful.

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