Software Product Roadmaps, Tips for Creating and Implementing
Working with software teams requires an effective guide to create a software product. Design your new software product roadmap with the top tips you will learn here. Read on.
As a startup founder, you have a vision for your software product. You’ve already done the work for the strategies you want to put into place. Now, it is time to execute, but how?
When you are building your product you need a specialized roadmap that will keep you and your team focused on the goal. It might be to launch a new product to your clients, product upgrades, or in-house software for your organization.
You need to build out a software product roadmap to detail the overall business objectives. Not only that, your product roadmap will help you keep track of the timelines and milestones you have set into place. But what is a software product roadmap? Let’s find out.
Software Product Roadmap: What is it?
A software product roadmap is a guide that gives the team the direction on the development of a product over a period of time. Also, it is a high-level summary of the goals and functions of your software product.
The software product roadmap is also a strategic record that will define what the software team is expected to build.
Creating a product roadmap follows a step-by-step process. First, the organization defines the vision and requirements for the software product. Once that is defined, it is then relayed to the development team.
The development team will then put it on a blueprint or a Gantt chart. The blueprint will include product-specific goals in the timeline.
Finally, project managers, developers, and other members of the software team will convert the high-level plan into tasks. This includes timelines and milestones that are necessary to keep the project going.
The steps are quite simple but not so easy to execute. Creating a software product roadmap requires planning and coordination. The roadmap is necessary for a software product manager to connect the company’s vision and the market.
Top Tips in Creating a Software Product Roadmap
Let’s explore some tips that will help you create an effective roadmap for your software team to use:
Determine the “Why?”
Before we get excited and plan out the product features, we need to understand “why” we are building the product. Sure, the features will serve a purpose, but the why will define the functionality of your product. Also, your product must exist to solve a specific problem for a target group.
Other strategic decisions from here will follow from the initial decisions you make at this stage.
Determine the “Who”
You cannot create a software product roadmap without knowing your audience. Determining the “who”, whether it be your executives or the development team, will help you customize it.
For example, if you’re creating a product roadmap for your executives they will be concerned about big business goals. This includes timelines, deliverables, and milestones.
Another important example would be a product roadmap for your software team. Your focus should be on planning the tasks, resources, and skills. Consider deadlines for this kind of product roadmap.
There are a lot of product roadmaps that are available for you to use. One thing to consider when using templates is their usability. There might be data it will require that doesn’t apply to your software product. Carefully plan and customize your roadmap as you see fit.
Strategize and Prioritize
At this stage, you will now be developing the content of your software product roadmap. Start with the most important or highest level. From there, you can add the details you want to include. One tip is to create categories for major product modules or functions.
Review and Update
Even when you’re finished creating your product roadmap, it is important to also update it over time. You have to stay ready and be flexible whenever there will be changes.
Your roadmap is not unchangeable. Rather, it is a living document that you and your team need to work on together. This would help bring your software product successfully out the door and into the market.
Keeping the product roadmap current will help you avoid false expectations and confusion from your team. Your software product roadmap should reflect the updates you want to make.
Plan Execution: Software Teams and Product Roadmaps
A software product roadmap defines the vision, strategy, and plan. It is not the finished product yet. Execute the software product roadmap properly to make sure you get to that point.
As your software product evolves, they also become more complex. That is why updating your product roadmap regularly is necessary. Your software roadmap goes through an evolutionary process all throughout the software lifecycle.
The steps included in executing a software product roadmap includes:
- Make sure the teams understand the objectives of the roadmap and their unique roles in executing the defined tasks.
- Involve the product manager from the design phase up to deployment.
- Proactive engagement between teams on a regular basis.
- As soon as you have updates, introduce new information to the team once available.
Product Roadmaps in the last phases
In the last phases of testing and deployment, your teams should ensure quality. Here, they are expected to check and test if your software product meets the requirements defined in the product roadmap.
Your software product roadmap should help establish the work your team will need to accomplish. This will also help them be more effective in their day-to-day tasks. Also, the product roadmap will keep the members of your team aligned which contributes to the success of product development.
When you’re working with software teams it is best to partner with those with experience. At Full Scale, we only hire members who have the right experience to do the job. Not only that, we work with those who have a proven track record of success. You can ensure that you will be matched with the right development team.
We make sure that you get quality software products designed for you to succeed. Contact us to know more about how you can reach your strategic business goals today!