You’re done with strategic planning, you have a clear vision, and all the resources are in place. After all those long nights at the (home) office, you’re ready to start another journey and deliver new value to your clients. But first, you need a product release roadmap.
What Is a Product Roadmap?
A product roadmap is a visual representation of all the steps your team needs to take to deliver or improve a product. It outlines your product strategy, long-term goals, and vision.
An effective product roadmap is made up of elements like customer ideas, internal inputs, feature requests, and work backlogs. These components are the building blocks of your roadmap you need to take into consideration during a strategic planning phase.
But product roadmaps aren’t just useful for planning and releasing new products. They also come in handy if you want to update existing products or release exciting updates. A product roadmap tells your customers what they can expect in the coming months or years.
What Should a Product Roadmap Include?
The ingredients of a product roadmap vary depending on the target audience. A comprehensive product roadmap that will be shared internally with your team should include:
- Goals: These are measurable objectives your team needs to reach to deliver the product. The more specific they are, the easier it is to make them happen.
- Initiatives: Initiatives, also called “teams,” show team members how specific features and releases connect to your overall product strategy.
- Releases: A release refers to every launch of a new feature that’s shown on a timeline.
- Epics: An epic is a larger body of work (like a category) that spans a number of releases. Epics often break down into smaller features delivered in increments.
- Features: In a nutshell, a feature is a new or improved functionality that gives users more value. It can improve the appearance, performance, or capabilities of a product.
- Timeline: The timeline is a visualization of every product release within a specified period of time. It may span days, months, or even years, depending on the level of detail in the roadmap and the amount of work needed for each release.
How Do You Create a Product Release Roadmap?
A product release roadmap is an extremely valuable tool that will help you deliver a new product or an exciting update. Designed the right way, it will guide your team toward the steps they need to take to execute a product strategy and ensure a successful release.
Here’s how you can create one:
1. Define a Product Strategy
Knowing the “why” or the reason behind your product is crucial to creating your product strategy. The first step is to identify your goals and initiatives. You can start with these product questions:
- “Who are our customers?”
- “What are their pain points?”
- “What do they really need?”
- “What problem are we trying to solve?”
- “Why are we doing this in the first place?”
- (you can 50+ product questions here)
By answering those questions, you’ll build a solid foundation for the next step.
2. Review and Organize Ideas
Best product ideas don’t grow on trees. The good news is you have faithful and supportive customers who can provide consistent feedback on every step of the journey.
Bring your customers on board and let them collaborate on the product roadmap. Nurture conversations and tune in to praise, suggestions, and most importantly, constructive criticism.
Document and organize the feedback by priority. It’ll help you decide which features to focus on and what exactly to prioritize in the next release. Rinse and repeat.
3. Set a Priority for Each Item
This is where your roadmap starts taking shape. Using the goals, initiatives, and ideas you have collected, identify the critical implementations that need to be rolled out first.
List and organize those features, adding detailed requirements for each item. If there are too many, put lower-priority items on the back burner and revisit once core functionality is in place.
4. Create Delivery Timelines
Now that you have your “what” and “why,” it’s time to figure out “when.” With all the features sorted and prioritized, start creating delivery timelines for individual releases.
Make sure to organize your timelines to maximize transparency. Use visual elements and leverage text formatting options to make the most of your roadmap.
5. Tailor the Roadmap to the Audience
Always tailor your product roadmap to the particular audience you’re addressing. This will ensure that everyone involved in the process gets exactly what they need.
Want to show the roadmap to your customers and give them a sneak peek at upcoming features? Focus on the essentials to keep them interested and engaged.
Are you preparing a presentation for the engineering department? Zero in on specific features and technical requirements so the team knows what you’re aiming at.
How to Use the Product Release Roadmap Template
- To get started, sign in to your Taskade account or sign up for free.
- Open the template link and click on the ➕New Project button.
- Choose the Workspace where you want to create your product release roadmap.
- Customize your roadmap using Taskade’s editing and formatting features.
- Finally, click on the Share button next to your profile photo to start collaborating.