Roadmapping 101 for Product Managers
When it comes to roadmapping, it’s all about connecting the start and the end while keeping the bigger picture in mind. Easy, right?
But don’t worry, we have the solution for you! All you have to do is follow these simple steps and everything will clear out.
Set where you want to go
Knowing the end is beyond important. Working so close to the product for a really long time makes it easy to forget the bigger picture. It is always better to define your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and to write it down so everyone can see it. It will keep you and your team from straying along the way.
Assess what you have
What kind of skills do you have on your team? How can you optimize them for maximum output? What resources are available? What will you be needing?
Define your needs and your resources that you’re starting with. Once you know what’s available, you’ll need to figure out how you can optimize each and every one of them.
Gear up ( your starting kit)
Tools. Tools are so important because, at the end of the day, they’ll either make your life easy or as complicated as it can be. There are many tools to choose from, in that sense.
- Roadmapping: Aha!, ProdPad, Craft, + more.
- Task tracking: Wrike, Trello, Asana, Jira, + more.
- Communication: Slack, HipChat, Bitrix24, + more.
- Pushing code/git and collaborating: GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, + more.
As long as you make sure you’re choosing the right fit, everything will fall into place, smoothly.
Prioritizing is mainly about organizing your main tasks
- by importance
- based on dependencies or special circumstances
This will give you a sense of what to start with and what to save for later. Also, you’ll be able to build a mental map leading to the final product.
Connect the dots and assign
Put everything on a linear calendar in order to better visualize the whole process. At this point, you more or less know what to expect, at what point in time, and what to do from there on. You start literally seeing the product coming to life and every single step it will go through. All that’s left is breaking each milestone to sub-tasks, allocating needed resources and deadlines, and finally, assigning tasks to their corresponding team members. And you’re done! (with roadmapping, at least)
There is no single best way to roadmap. Mainly because it’s all about showing your strategy and clearly articulating where you’re headed to your stakeholders in a compelling way.