“There’s a big difference between making a simple product and making a product simple.”
When an enterprise wants to fulfill the customer's need and achieve business goals it’s not necessary to be simple every time. In business, there are times when you need to go on a tough road and do complex things. Here to simplify things come roadmap. Once the vision is created for a product we can move further towards a roadmap.
A roadmap is clarity of actions for the product or solution on how they will be evolving in the upcoming time. Most think that agility planning is not for long runs they are planned for shorter terms and develop eventually with time. But this happens in cases where the work is based on experimentation or is revolutionary. In other cases like where enterprises are regulated and bounded by government rules, long-range planning is a benefit. Even though in agile we value change but we are also required to plan. So we must adapt our plans to the coming circumstances. Agile doesn’t mean plan but it means to don’t plan ahead of yourself and don’t get attached to it so much that you refuse to change them when required.
Agile consist below the level of planning
The portfolio level consist of vision planning
Product level consist of roadmap planning
Release level consists of release planning
Benefits of product roadmaps
It helps in communicating product directions and progress.
It helps in visioning the bigger picture on how the product impacts the business objectives
It allows the team to access requests of functionality against planned work
The difference in Roadmap and Release Plan
A roadmap is considered as a high-level visual for various check-points giving every detail about every direction and action for reaching the final mission. Whereas, release plan is an actionable step plan taken for developing a specific feature and defining the releases build by the roadmap.
When you need to check and verify the milestones in higher vision then a roadmap is required.
Who requires Roadmaps?
1. Roadmaps for executives
This roadmap focuses on teamwork, company goal, and metrics.
2. Roadmaps for Sales
These roadmaps help in new features along with the benefit of the customer in direction to support the sales adaptations.
3. External Roadmaps
While releasing a roadmap one must also ensure that customers are excited regarding future updates or new products.
Reason for Roadmap Failure
As the leaders are the ones with strong and persuasive personalities they most time try to decide roadmaps of the product based on intuition. Almost most times intuition fails hence the failure of the roadmap. Because intuition cannot decide the demands and needs of hundreds of customers in the market. So such leaders must divert their energy into the success of the roadmap.
Criteria for a successful roadmap
The roadmap must have a sound product strategy
Support from key stakeholders
Creating a roadmap
While moving towards creating a product roadmap first we must be aware of the answers for the questions from all the stakeholders which will further help in product strategy, questions are
What are the business goals and how will you measure success?
Who is the target customer, what are their needs, and how to satisfy?
Who are your business completion and what difference do they have compared the product?
After completing the discussion with stakeholders you are now reached the point where you have a product strategy and also stakeholders aligned to it. So further you must document the roadmap with help of again Roman Pichler's product roadmap.
This roadmap will consist of columns as:
Date- timeframe or release date
Name- mentioning new releases
Goal- Reasons for creating these new releases
Features- most necessary feature required to meet the goal
Metrics- measures to find if goals have been met.
In our previous article ‘creating agile product vision’ we have learned that “if you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else” explaining the use of vision in your every goal. Whereas in the roadmap we understand why navigating the path to our vision is necessary and how to achieve it.
About Advance Agility
We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.
Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.