If you are thinking of building a product or already building one, you need a product roadmap. Product development is no easy feat. But with the right product road mapping, anyone can turn their ideas into reality. Not only this, you can keep a track of your features and sprints but also budget and timelines. This article is for anyone who wants to create & manage their entire product planning and roadmap.
But first, let's understand the importance of creating the right product.
We all are familiar with the concept of remote working. Even before COVID-19, remote work was a trend long in the making. It was becoming a standard component in many people's work lives. Back in 2017, Gallup conducted a poll that found that 43% of people log out of office on exact clock timing. A complete 31% of these worked four to five days out of office.
This transition of working environments is possible because of online, cloud-based tools. They are the connecting bridges that keep the sanity and pace of the workflows in organizations. Whether it be communicating or project management. In other words, you need the right products to keep everything afloat.
What is a Product Roadmap?
A product roadmap is a visual communication tool that gives the company a better understanding of the high-level product strategy. It provides an overview of all aspects of the upcoming project: goals, features, timeline, resources, etc.
The product roadmap simply tells you exactly what the product team is developing, the problem it will be solving, and their business goals. With product roadmaps, companies can keep track of the necessary pieces of information to align stakeholders.
As stakeholders are essential parts of a company and the products made, it is easier for them to keep track of product development with product roadmaps. It helps everyone understand how their contribution will suffice in the bigger picture and stay aligned.
Why are Product Roadmaps Important?
Product roadmaps are essential for various reasons. Most importantly, it helps to communicate the details about a specific product to the involved stakeholders. The product roadmap gives the stakeholders a proper view of the product and the areas of emphasis.
Product roadmaps are also useful for the teams that invest their time working towards developing the products. It implies which areas need more attention. It also emphasizes the areas where work is to be done and the areas already executed.
Companies also use product roadmaps to determine product positioning and the competition in the market. Using a strategic framework, it is easier for teams to understand the competition the product will face to surpass the barriers.
How to Create a Product Roadmap?
Product roadmaps are created to organize a company's work; therefore, before creating a roadmap, one must be clear about their intended audience and create roadmaps accordingly.
For example, stakeholders will be more interested to see the development of the products and how their investment is providing them a profit. At the same time, customers will be more interested to know the theme of the product and the features it will provide, and what makes the new product different and better from the already available products in the market.
The five main steps to follow to create a product roadmap are:
- Strategy: defining the strategy is one of the main elements as it sets the vision, goals, and outlook for the development of the product. When a product has a strong vision, it helps the team understand its standing and the competition it will face in the market.
- Review and manage the ideas: the best way to consider the inputs by the customers is by analytically ranking the suggestions by feature votes or ratings. This ensures the metric is reflected in the improvements made by the product marketing team.
- Defining features and requirements: If the company's strategy is "why," then the teams must work to find the "how." This means that if the plan made for the product talks about the usage of the product, then the teams need to focus on the drawbacks so that the product can sustain the competitive market.
- Organize sprints & releases: Once everything is being taken care of, the teams can release the product in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly sprints. These can be grouped according to specific launch dates or according to the company's capacity.
- Choosing a view: For each created roadmap, there need to be specific questions asked to customize it accordingly.
Product Roadmap Template
Stackby is a cloud-based collaborative spreadsheet-database hybrid that empowers people to create their workflows and automate them with third-party services.
It is entirely flexible and can be customized as per the needs of the user. It works best for product roadmaps as keeping track of all the product development is hectic and time-consuming.
Stackby offers you a free product roadmap template, which you can use to:
- Track every change that is required by the users in terms of features, sprints, and releases.
- Track the product planning roadmap and milestones on a single interface.
- Record each feature that is created and attach a description.
- Monitor the start date and end date of each sprint and its current status.
- Use the template’s in-built calendar to monitor the releases.
- Recording the planned and actual release date.
- Track stories and features related to every module.
How can you create a Product Roadmap with Stackby?
It is pretty easy to create a product roadmap with Stackby. All you have to do is follow these steps:
First, after logging in to Stackby, move to the Dashboard and create a workspace.
After creating the workspace, click on the 'add stack’ button to create a new stack. Then choose the ‘templates’ option.
This is where you will land.
Next, look for the product roadmap template. Click on it, and you will land on the product roadmap template page.
Next, click on the ‘Use Template’ button.
You will be redirected to the main dashboard.
Select your workspace, and then click on the ‘add stack’ button.
Click on the stack to access it. This is what it will look like:
Here you already have 5 different sheets in the template: Stories, Epics, Sprints, Releases, and Modules - all linked together.
Stories: Manage all user stories here and link them to Features, Sprints & Modules
Features: Manage all your product features, give priorities, assign lead, and track status
Sprints: Plan your weekly or biweekly sprints and link stories & features to release
Releases: All your major releases to track your total features shipped within your sprint cycle.
Modules: Track by core product modules
This way you can view all the requirements regarding one particular story at once without having to switch or search through different sheets.
You can also customize this template according to your requirements/product plan. You can also access the templates in a calendar view to understand the timelines of various milestones in your product roadmap a little better. You can also use the gallery view to get a pictorial representation of all stages in your product roadmap.
All you have to do is click on the arrow next to the name of the stack.
Then, click on the add view option and access the stack in any view you want.
Product roadmaps are an undeniably important part of a product's journey. It acts as the connecting bridge between the product developers, investors, and any other people involved. Stackby aims to make this process as easy as possible for everyone! If this looks helpful, feel free to check out our other templates and use them accordingly! If you have not joined Stackby yet, sign up now for free!