A big part of finding success in your product roadmap is gaining alignment between your product team and stakeholders. In this Sunday Rewind, we cast our minds back to when C. Todd Lombardo taught us a lesson on how to do just that.
Alignment and collaboration
What do you need as a product person looking to get a roadmap updated or in place? Alignment and collaboration. You don’t need consensus to get your roadmap in place. Not everyone has to agree with everything, but they all need to have input, C. Todd explains. “Alignment is a concerted effort to help people understand the issues and their respective roles. It means asking questions and listening to feedback both from the internal team as well as other stakeholders.” Even if people on teams have different opinions, it’s important to align on intentions.
One-on-one meetings can provide an effective feedback loop. It not only addresses the stakeholders’ priorities but also gives you an insight into their goals. C. Todd says, “You build trust and rapport with each of these stakeholders because you’re listening to them and you’re asking them why things are important and how they’d think about it.” If your stakeholders are constantly pushing an initiative that doesn’t align with any goals discussed, then it signals to you that it needs to be talked about in more depth.
What’s mine is yours
Once each stakeholder has input on the roadmap process, it’s important to remember that they have authorship on the roadmap too. “It’s our roadmap, our plan. Why do people love their Ikea furniture? Because they put it together themselves. The co-creative nature of the roadmap process cannot be understated so that you (and I) can unlock that next Achievement Level in the game of product roadmapping.” says C. Todd.
C. Todd closes by discussing the impact that this collaborative approach to product roadmaps has had on his working practices: “For my role at Workbar, we have established the prioritization and put a roadmap in place for our digital product.”
“The team now has monthly product updates so they are all aware of what’s coming and if there are any changes. As a result, we’re now more focused than ever before on creating an amazing experience for our members, all thanks to a little roadmap love.”
This recap is just a snippet of what C. Todd has to offer when discussing the value of product roadmaps, read How to gain alignment from your product roadmap in full, or check out ctodd.com to see what else he is up to.