In this article, you’ll learn how to create a product roadmap for your software development company. A good product roadmap can help you set business goals, keep your team on track, and gain investor confidence. It shows what the next steps of your business will be while keeping you from wasting time and money on projects that don’t fit into the big picture.
There are many ways to create a product roadmap for your software development company, but most of them rely on a few key sections. In this article, we’ll look at the four key sections of a product roadmap and offer some advice for how to create each one.
Before you get started it helps to know what a product roadmap is, as well as why you need one in your business.
What is A Product Roadmap?
A product roadmap is a visual representation of what your software development company’s upcoming projects are and how they fit into the big picture. It lays out the future goals of your organization so that you can plan long-term projects without losing focus on current projects. It gives investors, clients, and employees confidence that their money or time won’t be wasted on unimportant goals. It also gives your team a road map to follow so that they can get more accomplished in the short-term.
A Product Roadmap and Your Business Goals
In order to create a product roadmap, you need to have marketing and business goals. You should have marketing goals because these are the goals you want your software development company to achieve in order to gain profitable customers. A goal could be acquiring an existing customer or exceeding your target revenue for the year. You also need business goals such as being profitable by the end of this fiscal year or earning enough revenue from one of your clients before it expires. And you should include both big picture goals and project-level targets on every project that you put in place on your roadmap.
How to Create a Product Roadmap
Once you know your marketing and business goals, you can create a product roadmap. The key sections of a product roadmap are the strategic plan, tactical plan, and project plans. They all have different roles in your business organization. Establishing which ones are most important for your business depends on the size of your software development company and the type of work that you do for clients. You may also have other sections or plans that help guide you as well. For example, project managers may prefer to use their own section as it is perceived that they possess more knowledge than an engineer when it comes to creating a project plan.
Your strategic plan is what you’ll use to lay out your business goals. You need to know what the big picture is in order to determine what plans you need to make. Your strategic plan will be a timeline representing your business goals, as well as links between those goals and the plans that will help you achieve them. This could mean choosing one of the following:
· A goal such as acquiring new clients or selling more products
· A set of circumstances including funding, resources, or time constraints
· A person with a role in completing the task at hand such as your team member or an investor who already has confidence in your group’s ability to do this job right.
Your tactical plan is what you use to achieve the goals you have laid out in your strategic plan. It can also be seen as a roadmap for getting from where you are now to where you need to be in order to reach your goals. You’ll need an idea of what tasks will help you reach your strategic goal, including the steps you’ll take along the way. This could mean:
· Your team members and their roles in completing each task necessary for achieving a business goal
· A deadline for each step, as well as when the project will be completed by
· The resources that are needed before beginning this plan or during each task. This should include people and money.
Your project plans are the types of projects you need in order to achieve your tactical goals. They will include:
· A description of what each project is for and why you need it in your business goals
· Who will be working on each project (including their roles) and how they are involved in your business’s long-term profitability and success. People may not want to invest their money into a product that no one cares about, so remember to clearly describe what the purpose of each plan is.
· How you’ll move forward with the project from this point on, including what tasks are involved and how much time or money they might cost.
What Is A Product Roadmap NOT?
A product roadmap is not a complete list of all the things you might need to do. You may not include everything in your plan due to time and budget restraints. It also can’t just be a list of plans that will help you reach your business goals. It needs to be a complete plan that describes how you’ll actually move forward and take action with each one of your plans.
A good product roadmap is an organized list that shows the big picture while still providing enough detail on what each project does and when it will be done. It showcases your business goals, provides clear instructions for each project, and outlines the tasks involved in getting there. While its main purpose is to help you reach your business goals, it can also help you be more productive.
If you’re having trouble with your product roadmap, please make sure that you follow the steps that we’ve outlined. If this doesn’t work, then it’s best to consider hiring a professional to create one for you, as they have the ability to visualize your business goals and how making each one a reality will work out for your company. They are also more familiar with the steps required for developing a road map than you are so they’ll be better at helping you in this area than yourself.
In the end, your product roadmap is an important tool for achieving your business goals. It’s a powerful visual that outlines what you want to do and the steps needed in order to follow through on those plans. If you’re serious about helping your business succeed, then it’s worth the time and effort needed to create a document that will make this possible.
Simplifying Product Roadmap Software Development
By now, we’ve established that there are a lot of moving parts in achieving any business goal or plan – including creating a product roadmap. You need to have a good grasp of your product roadmap, so that it fits within your goals and doesn’t get in the way of making something happen.
For a lot of businesses, this could be a very overwhelming task – especially for small start-ups. In many cases, those business owners lack the experience required to take on an entire project like this – or they may not have any idea how much time or energy it is going to take. To fill these gaps in knowledge, there are some free and paid tools available that can help fill in the holes in your product roadmap.
No matter what size your business is, whether you’re just starting out or already have a long history of experience with product development, the following products will make your life easier.
· ProductPlan: A comprehensive product development platform that fits within your goals and budget. This cloud-based solution has everything you need to create a solid product roadmap that will help you achieve your goals. The features included allow you to take on every part of the process from brainstorming to creating the actual roadmap. ProductPlan is best for small and medium-size businesses, as well as big brands and corporations. It also works well with all kinds of solutions – from IT and software to healthcare and energy sectors.
· Trello: A simple and intuitive online framework that keeps you organized. This visual platform allows you to break down your project into tasks and helps you to stay updated with what’s going on in the company. It’s best if your product team is distributed across locations, or if you’re managing a remote team, as it has a very flexible approach to working together. Trello works for small businesses looking for an easy-to-use roadmap that can be changed at any time, as well as bigger plans that need more organization.
· Wrike: A powerful and efficient task management system that makes collaboration easy even from afar.
· BuySellAds: A straightforward advertising network that will help you put your advertising to good use.
· Demandbase: The demand research system that will give you with access to accurate statistics on your website.
· Nomi: A cloud-based call center that can manage hundreds of calls from multiple locations, and a chatbot management system that allows you to build custom chatbots for consumer support.
To sum up, no matter what type of business you own, you need a product roadmap that fits within your goals and helps make your plan a reality. And even if you’re not sure whether or not you need one, it won’t hurt to experiment with using one – especially if it’s a free application that will help with the whole planning process. As we’ve shown, there are many options available, so experiment and see which ones work best for your business needs.