The Intersection of Product Discovery and Building a Clear Product Roadmap

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Apr 19, 2024

3 min read


The Intersection of Product Discovery and Building a Clear Product Roadmap


Building a successful product roadmap requires not only a clear understanding of what needs to be done, but also a deep dive into product discovery. These two concepts, although distinct, share common points that can help create a roadmap that everyone understands. In this article, we will explore the key elements of both product discovery and roadmap building, and how they intersect to create a visual, accessible, and clear roadmap.

Defining a Good Product Roadmap:

A litmus test for a good product roadmap lies in its ability to provide answers to crucial questions such as "What are we doing?", "Why are we doing it?", and "How does this tie back to our OKRs?". Instead of simply sharing feature lists, effective communication through the roadmap should focus on showcasing how decisions will be made. This approach allows teams to move away from being slaves to requests and instead focus on addressing the root of the problem with a single, elegant solution.

The Five Risks of Product Discovery:

Product discovery, on the other hand, involves exploring and evaluating ideas to determine their feasibility and viability. For every idea, there are five risks that need to be considered:

  • 1. Value: Will the proposed product create value for the customers?
  • 2. Usability: Can users easily figure out how to use the product?
  • 3. Viability: Is the business capable of supporting the product?
  • 4. Feasibility: Can the technology required to build the product be implemented?
  • 5. Ethic: Are there any ethical considerations that need to be taken into account?

By addressing these risks during the product discovery phase, teams can gain a deeper understanding of the product they intend to build and its potential impact on the market.

The Intersection of Product Discovery and Roadmap Building:

While product discovery focuses on finding the right product to build, roadmap building is centered around delivering that product to the market. These two streams run in parallel, influencing and informing each other throughout the product development process.

When building a product roadmap, insights from product discovery can help prioritize features and functionalities based on their value, usability, viability, feasibility, and ethical considerations. By incorporating these insights into the roadmap, teams can ensure that the planned features align with the discovered product and its potential impact on the market.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Collaboration: Encourage cross-functional collaboration between product managers, designers, engineers, and other stakeholders during both product discovery and roadmap building. This collaboration ensures that diverse perspectives are considered, leading to a more comprehensive and effective roadmap.
  • 2. Continuously Refine and Iterate: Product discovery and roadmap building are not one-time activities. It is essential to continuously refine and iterate on both processes. Regularly reassess the product discovery findings and update the roadmap accordingly to adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.
  • 3. Communicate Clearly: A key aspect of building a product roadmap that everyone understands is clear communication. Use visual aids, such as charts or diagrams, to present the roadmap in a way that is easily accessible to all stakeholders. Additionally, provide concise explanations for each feature or decision to ensure clarity and alignment.


Building a product roadmap that is visual, accessible, and clear requires a deep understanding of product discovery and its intersection with roadmap building. By addressing the risks identified in product discovery, incorporating insights into the roadmap, fostering collaboration, continuously refining and iterating, and communicating clearly, teams can create a roadmap that everyone understands. This shared understanding lays the foundation for successful product development and delivery.

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