Things To Never Ignore When Creating Your Roadmap
Tips and tricks for creating Roadmaps including managing time, doing prep work, keeping it simple, and the value of saying 'no'.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
You may also like: Roadmap Software Tools: The Best Way to Streamline Project Management
Your product road-mapping is a viable means to depict how this product is prone to develop, to adjust the stakeholders, and to procure a money related arrangement for this product. In any case, making a powerful guide is difficult, especially in agile development, where changes happen as often as possible and often out of the blue.
In this way, there are things never to overlook while making your roadmap and sprint backlog. Remembering them will help you in making an intense agile product using scrum sprint backlog, the roadmap template, and other powerful product management tools.
1. Prep Work
It's all about product strategy. Do not ignore the preparation work in planning your business. You should well picture and approve the product procedure – the way to understand your vision – before you make your guide and choose how the system will be best executed. Understand the difference between sprint backlog and product backlog. Use effective tools to organize tour work if needed.
As practice shows, you get a kick out of the chance to utilize your product vision board to depict and accept the vision. Of course, it helps create roadmaps because it catches the whole vision, your target audience and the users with their needs which altogether form the key components of the product. It also includes the business objectives as well as the key components of your business model.
2. Genius Lies in Simplicity
Do not forget that genius lies in simplicity and avoids the desire of adding too many complications into your roadmap. The key to success is an easy and understandable product roadmap. If you yet can’t achieve that, look up for some successful sample or ask a specialist how it should be accomplished.
Stay focused on your goals and dwell on that – develop your strategy and stick to it leaving all the rest behind. Thus, you should keep your product feature coarse-grained and driven directly from your goals on the roadmap. Never ignore such extra details like epics, possible scenarios and user stories – the core of your roadmap alongside the backlog and design.
3. Saying 'No'
Even if you do not wanna miss anything from your stakeholders, it doesn’t’ necessarily means that you should take into account each crazy idea or request. This may turn your plan into a mess, chaos or a mashed soup – random feature collection without any reasonable connections and interdependence. Again, stay realistic clear and convincing with your roadmap.
According to Steve Jobs, innovation doesn’t mean being open-minded and saying yes to everything; it’s more about saying no to unnecessary stuff. Do not ignore the words of the greatest product manager, use your product strategy and your vision for making the right decisions. To say ‘no’ in the right situations is a prerogative of successful product managers. The leading organizations always put strategic decisions at the forefront. So, an ability to say ‘no’ when it’s appropriate is what differentiates the leaders from the laggards.
4. Convincing Product Story
Do not be lazy to tell a coherent story about your product and its likely growth.
The truth is that each product release must logically outcome from your previous product management activity and draw you as closer to your product vision as possible. Your agile sprint backlog should be persuasive and sensible: never tend to theorize or oversell your product. Be sure who your target people are: internal roadmaps talk to agile development, promoting, deals, administration, and other people involved in crafting the product as a winning and successful one, while external may appeal to the potential or existing users.
5. Decision-Making Ability
The speed of decision-making impacts your product management activity. Do not forget to develop fast decision-making skills. The slow decision-making, as a necessary response to the turbulent environment, may interfere to communicate with both stakeholders and the development team. Thus, if the leaders include dealing with uncertainty on their top priorities list, they succeed faster than the laggards who cannot see its necessity in the list of priorities.
They just complain about uncertainty. Accordingly, the majority of PMs state that they have already carried out the necessary changes in the agile, to prepare for the external changes, whereas they have just justified their inability to make the fast decisions in the rapidly changing agile environment.
6. Picking Right Timeframes
Your goals should be realistic, and the roadmap should be realistic. The same’s with the roadmap time frames. Do not forget that the main purpose of a sprint backlog is to give the start and the right vector to a story mapping and road mapping as the whole.
Your roadmap timeframe should be organized in such a way that to clearly show where you can envision the development of your product without depending on the hypothesis. It must be as close to reality as possible, so do not ignore common sense and use it instead of dreaming.
There are so many product managers that ignore prioritizing. Don’t! Prioritizing goals vs. dates is the key to success too. In the process of crafting your roadmap, ask yourself the following question: if staying within terms or a complete accomplishing of a product objective is more vital for the achievement of the product vision. In the case, when you are too obliged by dates – you release the product or its features at the forefront.
Unlike, if meeting the objective is more priority, for example, to secure the users, to make the profit, to enhance the UX or debt reduction, then you begin with the goals and decide when the objective can be accomplished. A bright idea for distinguishing the principal significant release goal is defining the so-called Minimal Marketable Product (MMP). The MMP portrays the product with the less possible set of features that make esteem for the users or other clients, as well as can be promoted, showcased and sold effectively.
Professional product managers do not find it surprising that a few product releases are completely goal driven while others are more likely to be caused by the dates. Again, it’s all about prioritizing.
There are product managers that are too old fashioned and can hardly be called open-minded people. They prefer to stick to the old working schemes of making their product roadmaps and are a skeptic to the product innovations which is surprising. Well, there are; however, too enthusiastic ones that take each innovation for granted and try to implement it no matter what.
The golden rule is to determine how often you will launch some new features or a new version of the product depending on how ambitious your goals towards the product are. Probably it will be better to set a periodicity innovation releases on your roadmap. This will enable setting stability and easiness of the product coordination, as well as related products launch if any.
9. Right Feature Driving
Needless to remind that the goal comes first, the feature comes second. Accordingly, all the new features of your product should be driven by your major goal.
The product components should be the key product abilities or topics required for achieving the product objectively.
When a product manager has an awesome feature to be added to the roadmap, then the objective for this feature support should be immediately found. In the case that there is not such an opportunity, either modify your roadmap, change your current product goal, include another objective, or simply drop the feature.
10. Useful Tools (Product Roadmap, Sprint Backlog)
As soon as your goal is set, have a try to ask yourself about how you will guess that it is successfully met and if you’ve determined the appropriate direction, set the right metrics or the key progress indicators, etc. Just like many other things in your product management and creating a roadmap, this may depend on the tools you use to fasten the process and make it clear, understandable and visually appealing to the other PM participants.
Published at DZone with permission of Vadym Muraviov. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.