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Regardless of if you own a big or small company or business, it all comes down to one thing – what are the final results? Are you getting what you want from your company? Is your product well-designed and represented? Are the stakeholders satisfied with how the company is developing? How are the products marketed? These are just a few major questions every business owner or manager has to answer. Your answers can depend on various factors but usually, it’s all about how you’re managing your company teams, whether they are connected and do they collaborate. It’s not an easy job, making that all happen. That is why you should consider getting your teams more connected around any project or product development. The purpose of this is to get better results and more collaboration between them. To make it easier and more enjoyable it’s best to use product roadmap software. It’s a solution that’ll give everyone a good starting point and insight into how the product is developing. And if all sectors are involved in the project the result must be – a good product with good marketing. Therefore, good profit.
To get a better understanding of this process, keep reading. Let’s start with defining what the product roadmap is.
What is a product roadmap
First of all, let’s define what a product roadmap is. Like it’s said in the title, it must be some sort of map. Map that’s showing you the way – or the road – which you’ll have to follow to finish the project.
It’s an important document that shows how your product is developing, from the start to the finish. We may say it’s a sort of plan or a strategy your developing team is making to keep track of the project. The main purpose of the product roadmap is to clarify the major steps and when is the right time to take them. It helps to align the team’s efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
Because it should be used in developing different products, you can assume that there are different types and variations of product roadmaps, so you can choose depending on what your needs are.
Types of product roadmaps
There are three main types of product roadmaps:
- tactical, and
- operational, depending on what’s the time frame
Strategic roadmaps focus on long-term goals and vision, tactical roadmaps focus on specific features and initiatives or tactics, and operational roadmaps focus on day-to-day tasks and activities.
They can also be:
- internal and
- external, depending on what’s the audience.
Internal product roadmaps are meant for internal use or use within the company. So, their audiences are your teammates and other members of the company. They can vary in their content depending on whether you’re sharing it with stakeholders, the marketing team, or any other member.
We’ll talk about them more, later in the article. Stay tuned.
External product roadmaps are meant for customers or clients to use, highlighting the value they bring and offering a glimpse into the product development journey. It’s very important to maintain these roadmaps as realistic as you can, no false expectations, too much or too little information. It can all make your clients confused, or they can think of you as a fraud and leave.
Let’s see what are the advantages of proper product roadmap use and what new digital tools you can use to get the best of your product roadmaps.
Product roadmap software
Product roadmap software is a tool that helps get all those steps and tactics that your team brainstormed, into a form that is visual, and easily shared. It allows easy collaboration, tracking progress, and adjusting tactics as needed.
The use of product roadmap software is one of the essential factors in getting your teams to collaborate effectively, so if you want to learn more about product roadmap software and how to use it for your and everyone’s benefit, stay tuned. We’re getting there.
It’s important to say that the product roadmap, like any plan we make, is changeable. As the progress goes on, some factors may change and additional changes in the roadmap are inevitable. That’s where the collaboration between your teams takes place! And that’s where you step in, and the use of product roadmap software as a tool.
How to improve external product roadmaps experience – use of Saas UX
In the modern era, all roadmaps are digitized, allowing for effortless creation through the use of specialized software.
SaaS UX is often used in external product roadmapping as a way to communicate upcoming features and product plans with your potential customersplans with your potential customers which makes it an important part of any digital marketing campaign.
It’s a very efficient solution for improving the interaction between your product roadmap and potential customers or clients and you should consider the use of Saas UX as one of the major steps in making an external product roadmap.
After all, it’s upon their positive experience they’ll make the decision to continue collaboration with you or not. So, be prepared and find the best possible solution.
Use the product roadmap software to maximize your teams work
Here are a few tips on how to get better collaboration and teamwork using a product roadmap.
1. Try to get all teams and stakeholders involved
Even though making a product roadmap is a project manager’s responsibility and the developing team is the first one to do it, make sure that you involve all the other teams, like the marketing team, in its creation.
Getting the stakeholders involved is recommended, as they will be the ones approving all the work.
2. Make sure information is usable
The roadmap must be used so that everyone involved can easily find and track all the steps they have to do.
To achieve that the best way is to keep it simple, just focus on important elements, and avoid using too much information because it can only get your teams confused.
Less is more! Keep it simple.
3. Focus on specific, achievable goals
The best results are made if you just focus on what you can achieve first, and then gradually make your way to more demanding steps. It’s important to have a perspective of the ultimate goal, but keep your focus on little steps that have to be done to get where you’re going.
It’ll also bring your team morale up when they feel they are moving forward by getting small chunks of work done. And done with ease.
4. Encourage communication between teams
The main purpose of the product roadmap is to plan product development and to track its progress.
To make everything transparent and done faster it’s your job to encourage better communication between teams. It’ll help with identifying possible mistakes or bringing some new ideas that came up during the process.
As we said, every process is a living thing, changes happen. And it’s better to make them during the process than to do corrections later.
5. Create it more visual and easy to follow
It’s no secret that we are visual creatures, and that is what you should have in mind when creating a product roadmap. Using the product roadmap software will do the job here. They’re usually easy to follow and visually good.
Also keep in mind that different teams need different focus goals, so it’s recommended to make one main roadmap and a few ones adjusted to each team’s needs. We’ll talk more about it later.
6. Identify what’s not acceptable
As it’s important to know what you want, sometimes it’s even more important to know what’s that you don’t want.
Make sure you define what’s the road you don’t want to take, and set it clearly in the roadmap so that everyone understands.
How different teams use product roadmaps
As we already stated, all the teams in your company will need something else from the product roadmap. Your job is to know what those needs are and how to fulfill them. Here is some advice on what to focus on with each of the teams.
Product development team
The product development team relies on the product roadmap as a method to monitor their progress.
These roadmaps present crucial details including ongoing tasks, their expected completion dates, and team members assigned workloads.
Additionally, roadmaps often feature important project data such as deadlines, milestones, and the customer value.
For the sales team, a product roadmap serves as a valuable tool to boost conversions.
To ensure its effectiveness, the roadmap should contain comprehensive details about new features, advantages, perks, and other product or service alterations that can capture a customer’s interest.
However, it is crucial to hold back from setting definitive deadlines for the launch of new products or features, as doing so may generate unrealistic customer expectations and place unnecessary pressure on the product development team.
Customer support team
Product roadmap plays a crucial role in enhancing customer experience and retention for the customer support team. This team focuses on understanding which product promotes a positive impact on customers and their release timelines.
By obtaining detailed information about upcoming product features, customer support teams can effectively manage customer expectations and keep their interest in the product sustained.
Software development team
To effectively utilize your product roadmap, it is crucial for software engineers to comprehend the target audience, objectives, and ratio behind your product.
Gaining an understanding of the overall strategy and the thought process that led to it is essential.
Additionally, they must be familiar with the desired functionality of each specific feature.
Equipped with this knowledge, they can efficiently implement the development tasks required to accomplish your objectives.
The primary objective of your marketing team is to utilize your product roadmap as a tool to spark interest among customers and external stakeholders.
Unlike other departments, the marketing team has a keen interest in every aspect of your product roadmap. Any details you provide, such as strategy, timeline, or specific objectives, could prove valuable for marketing achievers.
The team will be particularly engaged by how new product features and capabilities can deliver advantages to customers.
Put product roadmap software to use now
After all have been said, we strongly advise you to start using product roadmaps and product roadmap software today!
Don’t waste any more time and get into it.
Not only will productivity go up, but the development of your new products will glide smoothly and the overall process will be enhanced.
Not to mention your teams will be more motivated for work as the process will be transparent and accessible for everyone. And the stakeholders will be satisfied with better and quicker results.