In this ProductTank London talk, Ahmed El-Sharkasy – CEO and Co-Founder at Knowledge Officer – offers exceptional insights on product roadmapping and prioritisation. If you’re a startup or want to found one, this talk is for you.
Or you can read the key learnings below:
Have a flexible plan
Don’t fall into the buzzword trap: embracing an agile and lean development methodology and adapting to change doesn’t mean having no plans at all.
What is a Product Roadmap?
Keep in mind these important distinctions: Business Strategy vs. Product Vision, Product Strategy vs. Product Roadmap. The latter is a result of finding your business objective, defining the (why) vision to drive your product development, deciding how you’re going to achieve your product goals so that you can plan what to build.
Why is having a Product roadmap key to startups success?
It sets a clear focus, helps transparency and communication, keeps the team motivated and shows gaps in your product architecture, technology and resources that you need to fix to fulfil your product vision.
Find your roadmap style or mix them to fit your needs.
A Feature-based roadmap has a flexible timeline (i.e. Now, Later, Next) compelled by a list of features. A Theme-based roadmap can be built around teams, business metrics (i.e. Revenue, Growth), or product value areas.
Lastly, the Objective-based roadmap sits alongside the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework, and it’s used when you have specific quantifiable objectives you want to achieve.
Your roadmap is a living document. Keep communicating your roadmap to your team and stakeholders, so they can contribute to its development and ultimately the success of your product, and remember:
- Experiments are useful if they help you achieve your OKRs.
- Your backlog is not your roadmap. Your roadmap needs to tell a story, it’s not a list of features.
- Don’t plan beyond 6 or 12 months. However, if you don’t have a plan at all, you don’t have a target, and you don’t have a strategy to achieve your goals.