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What separates a good Product Roadmap from a bad one?

Onkar Singh Lohtham
Published: 15 March, 2024

Characteristics of a good product roadmap

We create a product roadmap to envision what lies ahead for the product to communicate with the team, senior management, customers and all stakeholders. It provides clarity, adds purpose and a sense of direction for everyone.

As the name suggests, it should tell you the map for going from point A to point B. Few characteristics of a good product roadmap are:

  1. Future looking: Not only it is solving current issues, but also building future benefits.
  2. Goal oriented: It aligns with the Objectives & Key results that you have identified for the next quarter or two. In short, the roadmap must be aligned with the GPS.
  3. Prioritised: It must reflect items that have been prioritised by the team for the product, company & customer.
  4. User journey driven: The items on the product roadmap must be based on user journeys, rather than being a group of stand-alone features.
  5. Reason: You must have a reason for the selection of the roadmap items, their priority order on the roadmap, and the benefits it would bring.

On the other hand, a bad roadmap could be the one that doesn’t have the above listed characteristics and/or has any combination of the below:

  • Random list of items grouped together to be done.
  • List of tasks or features placed in a serial order.
  • No reasoning behind their selection, order or benefits.
  • No collaboration with the team.
  • No sense of guidance as to where does this roadmap leads you to

Note: The product roadmap tells us the ‘What’ and not ‘How’ to get things done.

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Onkar Singh Lohtham

Founder & CPO | Lead Trainer | Digital Skills Mastery

Onkar is one of the most innovative and experienced agile practitioners and trainers in the world. He has helped organisations build £multi-million products/services & win awards. His passion lies in training on ‘how to’ implement unique road map & commercial strategies, manage complex backlogs and lead multi-product agile teams from inception to launch.

Learn more

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