This article explains how to create a product roadmap in seven steps. This will help companies avoid bottlenecks when launching their project.
No matter how good the idea for a new product, there will be many obstacles to creating it. The main block last year was the lack of funds for software development. Many companies have encountered obstacles in software development because they have not created a well-structured product roadmap. Without this guide, it is not easy to accurately estimate the cost of building a product. And this often leads to a delay or abandonment of the project.
In effect, only 30% of companies have a plan with descriptions of objectives at an early stage. As for Europe, more than 60% of entrepreneurs declared that they did not create a development roadmapbut they think about it in the case of digitization.
Startup planning is essential because only a clear roadmap strategy can help companies minimize development errors and stick to their budget. Today we will talk about how to build a product roadmapa lifeline in business, and why it is necessary to create it for anyone who wants to succeed.
What is a Product Roadmap
The product roadmap is a visual guide that sets the vision and direction for your product offering over time. It is an action plan for short and long term product goals. An ideal roadmap should include things like:
- product view
- product strategy objectives and indicators
- product features and assumptions
- possible risks and crisis plan
- technology stack level timelines and milestones
- results after each step
- development priorities and progress
It is used to plan and execute the business mission of the startup.
Ideally, companies should create a roadmap before starting to develop a new project. This will minimize errors, save time and resources, and ensure the team is moving in the same direction.
Why do companies need a product roadmap?
The roadmap ensures that the teams and people involved in the development have the same vision and goals for the product.
Disagreement over product goals often leads to software development messes, delays, increased costs, and failures. If the action moves in different directions, misunderstanding increases and the outcome may be disturbed.
It often seems to many companies that they are heading in the same direction with their developers and business partners. However, a product roadmap is still necessary to keep everyone focused on the same goals.
The product roadmap ensures that technical and business processes are visible, that process participants understand their responsibilities, and that there are no miscommunications.
In 2022, many companies have realized that they need to adjust their product goals and objectives. That’s why they are actively spend money on analytical tools as a roadmap.
Steps for Creating a Product Roadmap
The creation of a roadmap is crucial for companies that want to carry out their project. We will highlight seven critical steps that need to be looked at with particular care.
Step 1. Define your product strategy
In 2022, many startups prefer to use specialized product development programs to:
- visualize the stages of development
- follow-up of deadlines
- develop a business strategy
As a result, an incredible unit is created from a shared vision, goals, and product development strategies.
The roadmap must give an overall image of the product and allow to understand:
- consumer needs
- basic functionality of the project
- descriptions of competitors and how to create better solutions
- different strategies to solve clients’ pain.
Companies should always focus on audience and design when creating something new. For example, Coca-Cola discovered that the public struggled with being overweight and needed a product with minimal sugar retention. Therefore, the product strategy was the creation of zero sugar-free Coca-Cola, which greatly increased sales and public loyalty, and the new product became a success.
Step 2. Gathering Product Requirements
Functionality matters. It affects many things, like the usability of the product, and adds value to the audience.
When choosing the features of a product, it is essential to take into account surveys and interviews conducted with potential customers.
Many experts recommend conducting market research, especially interacting with the public on popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Choosing the right features also includes a detailed analysis of the products’ direct and indirect competitors. To conduct qualitative research, a business analyst who has experience in a particular industry is needed. The specialist must not be satisfied with adopting the functionalities of a competitor. They need to analyze it, take the best features and turn them into a new product that meets user requirements.
Step 3. Set deadlines
Regardless of size, all businesses need to set clear deadlines for accomplishing specific tasks. There is a high probability of a long time to market if this is not done. Since the functions are most often interdependent, the delay of one will lead to an increase in the development time of the other. Thus, it is essential to do everything on time.
Step 4. Determining scope of work and budgeting
First, companies need to evaluate core functions and choose their runtime. All data should be used to determine the total development time.
After determining the time, the company must choose the specialists it needs for the project: a beginner, intermediate or senior programmer, a project manager and a designer are needed, etc.
The ideal product development team typically consists of the following experts:
- UI/UX designers
- Quality assurance engineers
- Business analysis
- Software or mobile developers
- Project Manager
Step 5. Detect dependencies early
Identifying interdependent functionalities in the development of a new product is also essential. Companies need to know as early as possible what tasks are interconnected and what needs to be done to:
- avoid making strategic mistakes in time
- create the transparent process of creating a product
As for the roadmap, companies can have an anti-crisis plan for interdependent functions.
Step 6. Presentation of the Product Roadmap
The product roadmap is a single document that details product development at every stage, so it should be presented to the entire team, including marketing, sales, investors, and senior management.
Step 7. Progress Tracking
Software development roadmap trackers such as Aha and Product Plan help companies stay in touch with the entire product creation process:
- tracking task results
- management of marketing strategies and sales campaigns
- analyze the exact time spent on each task
When creating your new product, don’t forget to learn how to build a product roadmap.
The roadmap is a reliable assistant that will distribute all project tasks, help identify interdependent functions and help companies save development time and reduce costs.
However, companies that use reliable software development service providers to create and monitor the implementation of the roadmap in strict compliance with the requirements consider seven critical steps:
- Product strategy definition
- Collecting project requirements
- Delays for each process parameter
- Definition of the scope of work
- Finding dependencies
- Presentation of the roadmap
- Progress Tracking
Following these steps will allow companies of different sizes not to fall behind in budget and complete the development on time.