Behind every successful digital product, there is a clear-cut product strategy roadmap. Many books have been written on developing a winning plan for digital products. For example, the Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age. Still, many people often need clarification on this concept.
So, in this article, you will learn about product strategy vs product roadmap. You will also understand the difference between product vision vs strategy vs roadmap. At the same time, we will tell you how teams can develop their own product roadmap and strategy.
What is a Product Strategy Roadmap?
A product strategy roadmap is a visual sheet showing different tasks to complete within a timeframe to create a successful product. It starts by outlining your product vision, product strategy and roadmap. Furthermore, it represents product objectives and goals you must achieve in a specific period.
To understand the concept more clearly, let’s break the term into two different parts – product roadmap and strategy. A product roadmap allows product development teams to focus on accomplishing crucial tasks. With that, it also tells them what methods (strategies) to implement in order to attain them.
But many other components are found in a product roadmap strategy, such as customer ideas, features, backlogs, and stakeholders’ feedback. Since all these elements are part of your product strategy, they should closely match it.
A Great Example of a Product Strategy Roadmap
As you can see in the above product strategy roadmap template, different phases and tasks need to be completed in a certain duration.
In this product strategy roadmap example, you can observe a team working on developing a product. They already have a vision, objectives, and goals identified in the planning phase of the product strategy roadmap. In the meanwhile, they are implementing strategies. They have planned 6 weeks to complete a roadmap and 22 weeks to develop Alpha, Private Beta, and Public Beta product versions. And by Dec 20, they need to ensure the product is live.
Until the public beta release, the team continuously gathers information about service metrics and customer satisfaction. And once the product goes live, the team will assess conversion metrics, analytics, and the number of sales through real-time reporting.
Product Strategy Roadmap Types
A product strategy roadmap is not fixed. It is evolving and dynamic, allowing you to adjust the product strategy and roadmap whenever needed. Since different team members will work according to the roadmap, they will have different views about it. For instance, people responsible for ‘vision’ will focus on the product vision strategy roadmap area.
Likewise, team members working on business intelligence, product development, and strategies will view it differently. Therefore, we suggest picking the most suitable type of product strategy roadmap that elaborates on tasks for each department to eliminate confusion.
So here are the 5 different types of product strategy roadmaps with their features.
1. Strategy Roadmap
A strategy roadmap displays:
- Efforts required to accomplish product goals
- Results to be delivered in a specific time frame
- Necessary actions the leadership must take to achieve tasks
2. Epics Roadmap
The epics roadmap is ideal for:
- Prioritizing actions
- Projects with multiple releases
- Elaborating highly-focused parts of the product
- Planning, organizing, and grouping upcoming tasks with similar features
3. Release Roadmap
Release roadmap informs about:
- Activities need to be done before product release
- The team responsible for product delivery
- Communicating release activities across different teams, like marketing and customer support
4. Features Roadmap
Features roadmap is excellent for:
- Tracking the development process
- Releasing the product’s main features
- Showing timeline for delivering new features
- Informing customers and team members about the feature updates
5. Portfolio Roadmap
Here are the characteristics of a portfolio roadmap:
- Provides strategic insights to the leadership
- Shows how different product teams collaborate
- Best for overviewing multiple product releases in a unified view
6 Steps for Creating a Brilliant Product Strategy Roadmap
Following are the 6 highly-recommended steps for making a compelling product strategy roadmap.
1. Develop a Product Strategy
You need to have a strategy to make a great product strategy roadmap. Your strategy must have proper outlines, defining the goals and ways to achieve them. It not only helps in making rational decisions but also makes the product team understand the ‘why’ behind building the product. Moreover, it communicates ‘what’ and ‘when’ to deliver the product.
You must also remember that your strategy should be user-centric to enable the product team to work towards achieving goals without confusion. So here’s how you can build a great product strategy.
- Have a well-defined product vision
- Recognize what your users want
- Know what you’re competitors are upto
- Identify market trends and set goals accordingly
- Understand your company’s resources
- Plan a timeline for product release
2. Market Research for Growth
After strategizing your moves, you should look for ways to add customer value to your product. This can only be done when you are involved in a strong market analysis to determine your users’ needs.
The whole idea is to meet customers’ desires through your product. Your product strategy roadmap must focus on making their lives easier and better. So consider the features you should add or remove from your digital solution.
However, it should be rational thinking rather than based on assumptions. So here are the three most common ways to conduct market research.
- Interviewing target audience
- Surveys for data collection
- Observing customer behavior
3. Prioritize Features
A product strategy roadmap has a wide range of initiatives, like backlogs, ideas, and features. However, it may be impossible to add all of them due to limited time, budget, and IT infrastructure. Therefore, you should know which tasks to work on first.
Choose the most essential, urgent, and realistic features according to customers’ demands. Any outcome that differs from your expectations during the first iteration should be kept in a product backlog to be reworked later.
This is how you can prioritize your product strategy roadmap:
- Understand how customers are using your product features
- Gather feature demands and input from users
- Prioritize demanded features and fixes
- Share the latest changes in the roadmap with stakeholders, team, and customers
4. Be Realistic with the Timeline
Once you know ‘why’ and ‘what’ customers want in your product, it is time to plan ‘when’ to deliver. Start by deciding which features to release first that align with your product strategy, and then display them on the timeline.
A solid product strategy roadmap has dates to show new features and updates that will launch. It helps the product team understand their responsibilities and the amount of focus required for each task. For instance, many tech partners divide the product strategy roadmap timeline into months or quarters.
It helps the team to deliver excellent work and keeps stakeholders’ expectations high. Nevertheless, you should also consider factors like development limitations, value propositions, and market trends to make the roadmap realistic.
5. Add Valuable Metrics
Metrics are parameters in a product strategy roadmap to analyze your product’s performance. They work as a benchmark to see whether or not the product meets goals. Besides, they show the necessary achievements needed to make the product vision a reality.
But not metrics are worth depending on. For instance, how many followers and likes a product has on social media? So you should always focus on metrics that present customer or business needs, such as:
- Number of active users in a day, week, or month
- Monthly Revenue
- Churn and retention rate
- Product Adoption
6. Sharing Product Strategy Roadmap and Getting Feedback
When your product strategy roadmap is all set, you must show it to the stakeholders and product team. Arrange a meeting to present the roadmap and ensure it communicates the development progress with both internal and external shareholders. This will help them understand the reason for developing the product. And how it can benefit the customers so the company will gain profit and market share.
Here are a few points you should keep in mind when giving a product strategy roadmap presentation:
- Target audience
- Product context
- Review and update strategies
- Asking questions to get stakeholders’ feedback
A product strategy roadmap gives you direction to accomplish goals within a timeframe. You can select the best type of roadmap that fits your business needs. But regardless of your choice, your product roadmap strategy should always revolve around the product strategy. Similarly, you must do thorough market research and prioritize features to work on. At the same time, the roadmap should be realistic and achievable and must exclude unnecessary metrics.
At Slash, we create digital products through Agile principles and a well-design product strategy roadmap. We have a team of highly professional developers, product managers, and leaders to ensure delivering your software on time. Our experts use iterations to make sure your web and mobile application is user-friendly and fully functional before it goes live. Contact us to start building products that your customers will love to use.
FAQs – Product Strategy
Q1. How do you create a strategy roadmap?
To build a strategy roadmap, first, develop a product strategy, determine growth opportunities, and prioritize features to add to a product. Then, set a realistic task completion duration and metrics and share the roadmap with the stakeholders.
Q2. Why is product strategy like a roadmap?
Product strategy is different from a roadmap, but it serves as the main component. A product roadmap links your product strategy so the team knows they are going in the right direction.
Q3. What is product vision vs strategy vs roadmap?
A product vision answers what type of product to build and why. A product strategy shows what steps to take to accomplish the vision. Whereas a product roadmap displays a timeline to implement the strategy.
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