How To Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands: A Guide to Effective Product Strategy

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Oct 02, 2023

3 min read


How To Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands: A Guide to Effective Product Strategy

When it comes to building a product roadmap, the key is to create a visual, accessible, and clear plan that can be easily understood by anyone in the company. A good product roadmap should provide answers to important questions such as what are we doing, why are we doing it, and how does this tie back to our OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).

Instead of simply sharing feature lists with the rest of the company, it is crucial to communicate how decisions will be made. This means focusing on the process and strategy behind the product development rather than getting caught up in individual requests. By taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, you can tackle the root of the problem and find a single, elegant solution that addresses the needs of the company.

One approach to product strategy that has proven to be effective is the wedge product strategy. This strategy involves being aware of your current context and constraints. For example, if you are a small, early-stage startup with limited resources, casting a super wide net as a product strategy will wear you thin pretty quickly. Instead, it is important to find one small thing that you can excel at and that fits customer and market needs. By putting your effort into this initial focus area, you can learn, grow, and scale effectively.

A great example of this strategy in action is a company that used customer feedback to convert people on the fence into fanatics. They started by identifying a pain point in the customer journey and focused their energy, expertise, and resources on solving that specific problem. They built out a roadmap that was based on optimizing value and minimizing friction and barriers for the customers. This iterative process allowed them to continuously improve their product and achieve their goals.

So, how can you approach product strategy in a way that maximizes ROI and achieves your goals? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Understand your context and constraints: Take a step back and assess your current situation. Consider factors such as the size of your company, available resources, and market needs. This will help you identify the areas where you can excel and make the most impact.
  • 2. Gather feedback and iterate: Customer feedback is invaluable when it comes to building a successful product roadmap. Take the time to listen to your customers, understand their pain points, and use that information to continuously improve your product. Iterate on your roadmap based on the feedback you receive and optimize for value and user experience.
  • 3. Communicate your strategy effectively: A product roadmap is not only a plan for development but also a means of communication. Make sure your roadmap is visual, accessible, and clear enough for anyone in the company to understand. Focus on communicating the why behind your decisions and how they tie back to the company's objectives. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.

In conclusion, building a product roadmap that everyone understands is essential for effective product strategy. By focusing on the process and strategy behind the product development, using a wedge product strategy to excel in a specific area, and incorporating customer feedback and iteration into your roadmap, you can create a roadmap that maximizes ROI and achieves your goals. Communicate your strategy effectively to ensure that everyone in the company is aligned and working towards a shared vision.

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