5 Pieces of Key Information Every Product Roadmap Should Include

Posted by Maziar Adl
Maziar Adl
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Illustration: Path to goalsIf you are a product manager building a product roadmap, there are numerous components you could add and various factors to consider. Why should you use a product roadmap at all?

  • You are probably trying to rally your team behind the goals of your company. 
  • You want to gain clarity for product ideas. 
  • You want to bring awareness to the organization's objectives and create products aligning with those goals. 

Product roadmaps are the perfect place to manage every step of the product's progress, from creating objectives based on your business goals to evaluating the product's success. Product roadmaps are a great way to organize and test ideas; they are also helpful when determining what products you should prioritize and how they will bring the company closer to its goals.

If you’re wondering how to create a roadmap and make the most of your product roadmap tools, here are five pieces of key information that you should include in every roadmap.


1. Objectives and Key Results: What are you trying to accomplish? 

Illustration: Missing the targetIt is essential to always keep the end goal in mind. Objectives and key results, or OKRs, must be the basis of every roadmap. A product roadmap without a goal would be confusing and pointless. Objectives are what you want to achieve, and key results are how you plan to achieve them. These OKRs should be easily accessible and communicated to everyone involved. All team members must be aware of the objectives to create initiatives aligned with them. Goals should be specific and concise with little possibility of misinterpretation. 

Key results are the concrete steps you will take to reach the objectives. Like short-term goals that will lead you to the final destination, you must decide what you will do to get there. OKRs should be clear and have a timeline.

With any aspect of a product roadmap, objectives included, it is necessary to revisit and reevaluate regularly. The needs of your customers or the market may change, and you must adapt and update your product roadmap


2. KPIs: What do you want to measure?

Illustration: measureKey Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be measured and tracked to see how well your product performs. While there are endless metrics you may want to track for your product, the challenge is choosing a few key metrics to hone in on. These more important ones are your KPIs. Your KPIs should not only evaluate the overall success of your product, but more importantly, they should measure whether your product is bringing you closer to your objectives and key results. Remember to keep business, product, and customer goals all aligned. You can associate KPIs directly with your objectives to easily track your progress toward your OKRs. 

These key metrics will form the concrete goals your team will be working towards. Additionally, KPIs will help you spot gaps you need to fill and other areas where you can improve. 

Whether measuring revenue or customer satisfaction, tracking KPIs on your product roadmap software will show you the metrics you want to see in real-time. KPIs can also help to track correlations in performance, and their quantitative data is useful when making decisions. Similar to the objectives, the KPIs may need to be adjusted if and when product strategy and organizational goals shift. 


3. Milestones: When are key events occurring?

winding-road-markersAn effective product roadmap should always include milestones. Milestones are part of your product's timeline, ensuring the team stays on schedule. Make your team aware of upcoming release dates, deadlines, or other essential dates crucial to the product's strategy and progress. While always thinking of the big picture is great, your team also needs to know what is coming next. Not reaching a milestone on time may result in delays in the supply chain. When setting milestones, it is important to be realistic while also meeting company expectations. Refrain from overusing milestones on your product roadmap; they will lose value, and your team may lose focus. Using milestones and timelines will ensure your team is staying on track and remembering key events happening soon.


4. Initiatives: What will you do to hit your milestones?

Illustration: Flag at summitInitiatives are a vital piece of the product roadmap puzzle. When milestones have been established, your team can start brainstorming initiatives to help you achieve your goals. Whether they have an idea for a product feature or a suggestion for increasing revenue, all initiatives can be tracked on a product roadmap. 

From there, the initiatives can be evaluated and prioritized. Will this idea both satisfy customer needs and get you to your milestones? There are various methods you can use to prioritize your initiatives. A product roadmap is a great place to map out ideas to see if they align with the objectives and key results. Pursuing more significant initiatives may take considerable time and capital, so it is essential first to assess whether the initiative will be beneficial. 


5. Value: What value is the product providing?  

Illustration: Customer reviewsRegardless of your product, it is providing something of value, or else it would not have been created. Products provide value to the customer, such as solving a problem or saving the customer money. But, of course, the product will also give value to the company and its stakeholders. This value is not always monetary. The value gained from a product can undoubtedly be economical, such as increased profits or decreased production costs. 

The value provided by a product can also be social. Perhaps employee satisfaction will increase, turnover will fall, and employee relations will improve. As a result, the company may become a desirable workplace, with the most qualified candidates seeking employment at your business. Or maybe the product will enhance customer loyalty, resulting in repeat customers and great reviews. This could lead to consistent revenue and a better reputation for your company. It is essential to be aware of your product's value beyond monetary value.


Reassess Regularly

Remember that your product roadmap is not a fixed and stagnant document. Instead, it needs to be able to shift and adapt as the market changes. If customers' needs change, your objectives and key results may have to change, which in turn may require different KPIs and milestones. Perhaps customers' needs stay the same, but your KPIs aren't leading you to your milestones; then, you may have to choose different KPIs and try again. Be sure to reassess your roadmap periodically to make any necessary changes.


Gocious is a product roadmap software your entire product team can use effectively. 

Topics: Product Roadmap

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