Product Roadmaps – Roadmaps are essential for coordinating the product development process. They ensure that day-to-day operations are aligned and contribute to your higher-level business strategy.
They are the backbone of any growing business and should be introduced in project plans and other basic business reports.
In this blog, we’ll explore what a product map is, who it’s for, and how you can create a product map (including examples and examples). Plus, with professional product planning software, it’s easy to create a road map for your next project.
Agile Product Roadmap
A product roadmap is a high-level view that describes the vision, direction, and evolution of your product over time. A productivity map shows where the organization is, where the organization wants to be, and how to get there. It serves as a valuable guide for teams to plan activities and execute strategy.
As you know, some of our templates are free to use and some require a small monthly fee. Signing up is always free, as is access to the online drag-and-drop editor.
Product maps developed by business owners or managers for the purpose of communicating product strategies, resources, and initiatives to manufacturers and external stakeholders.
Building Product Roadmaps: Common Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them
Basically, they are a document that keeps product development on track, and generally ensures that everyone involved in the process is on the same page.
Product maps can be used in other business plans such as marketing plans and business plans. They can even help inform your marketing strategy.
A product roadmap follows a similar format to a Gantt chart—a type of bar chart that shows the duration and duration of several activities or initiatives in one area.
Why Most Product Roadmaps Are A Train Wreck (and How To Fix This)
Because roadmaps are dynamic, flexible documents, it’s best to design them using roadmap templates rather than a product roadmap tool that allows for more flexibility (so it’s easier to edit and modify when priorities change. Highlight a specific time frame for your product roadmap, define the projects within a timeframe, and define the departments responsible for each project. It should include
Roadmaps are created from scratch in Excel or Word, which is tedious and time-consuming. In addition, the final product looks like a respectable paper.
The flexibility of using product design software and working with a pop-up mapping framework makes the roadmapping process much easier (and less time-consuming!).
How To Provide Product Roadmap Status Updates
Before you get into the visualization phase of the roadmap, you need to know two important details: who you’re creating the roadmap for and how far ahead you want to plan.
This product launch roadmap serves as a countdown to launch model, with most of the planning in phase one. Gradient design is perhaps the most innovative industry.
Different audiences have very different needs, so the content and presentation of your roadmap should be tailored to your audience.
Project Roadmap Vs. Product Roadmap
External stakeholders, for example, may want a high-level view of strategic initiatives planned over four to several years. They may be more interested in the short-term, medium-term, and future overall time horizons of this bubble map chart.
Internal members of the product team, on the other hand, need more visibility into specific features and functions. It usually makes sense to plan these over a period of weeks or months rather than years.
In addition to adapting to the needs of the audience, the timing should be reasonable. It should be long enough to make significant progress on the project, but it is possible to plan deadlines in the short term.
Free Product Roadmap Template 
It is common to create production maps by year, quarter, month or sprint. The pipeline format of the project is divided into four parts.
Once you’ve identified your audience and decided on a reasonable timeline, you can start putting the rest of the product development puzzle together. These include:
A Gantt chart is a type of horizontal chart that shows activities, tasks, or goals with dates on the y-axis and dates on the x-axis. Each point in the chart represents a task and shows the duration and time of the task from the first day to the last day (from left to right).
How To Build Your First Product Roadmap
Start by arranging the timeline from left to right by creating a day, week, month, or quarter section. Then add a bar for each planned activity. At each point, start with the expected date of the task and extend it to the expected time frame of the task.
We’ll touch on the specific case where you want to change bar height later, but in general you’ll want to make sure that the height of each bar is consistent between tasks.
Next, create groups that appear in your tasks. A group of tasks, sometimes called “core,” is used to add hierarchy and improve the readability of Gantt charts and roadmaps.
Product Roadmap: Examples, Types And Key Features
If you are trying to coordinate the activities of several groups in one map, the activities should be divided into groups. If the roadmap focuses on high-level product goals, tasks can be divided into initiatives.
A series of works that are part of the same initiative should be displayed in the same row. This helps to reduce waste space and shows dependencies between tasks.
Since we naturally read from left to right and top to bottom, it’s best to put early initiatives (or prioritized initiatives) at the top.
Product Roadmap Strategy: Templates, Features, And Planning Tips
Following these four simple steps will give you a product roadmap that works well. If you want to take your roadmap to the next level, you can design it based on your product, goals, and audience.
Color in a product map is best used to show some important information about each activity, such as status or priority level.
For greater information density, use color to separate activities into otherwise unobserved groups. This product roadmap template uses color to help break down project phases.
The Data That Should Inform Your Product Roadmap
For example, in the sample table above, our functions are already divided into groups. We can work with an additional layer of detail by using color to categorize tasks by status (eg, planned, approved, in progress, or completed).
Another way to overlay more information is to treat each bar as a small progress bar. The percentage completion of each bar can be used to represent the level of each task.
This additional visual indicator helps to ensure that the project is on track, but should be used with caution.
The Most Effective Product Roadmap Types You Need To Know
Plus, seeing that progress toward your goal gives you a false sense of accomplishment. Progress toward a goal can be difficult to accurately measure.
Lines and arrows are used on roadmaps to show the relationship between related activities, similar to what you might see on a flowchart.
It is often used to show dependencies between functions. That is, the arrow is from a task that must be completed before the task can begin.
Product Roadmaps: Slashing Costs, Smashing Deadlines
Another Gantt chart flag is the diamond, which is used to mark important project milestones such as release dates, review dates, or inspection dates. An event can be any event that does not have a time duration (ie any event that cannot be represented by a road map bar).
Milestones become important project checkpoints as opposed to taskbars. It’s usually a good idea to add red, black or dark gray to make it stand out.
However, if you have milestones that apply to multiple tasks, or if you want to add more details like dates or release numbers, you may find your chart too crowded. In this case, it’s a good idea to mark important dates on your chart at different times with important dates indicated by small flags:
The Agile Way To Create A Product Development Roadmap
It may be useful to add a visual indicator of the current date to compare task start and end dates.
Using a thin dotted line that extends from top to bottom makes it easy to compare the days of all activities equally.
If you want to draw more attention to the critical path of your map, use a highlight color to define tasks and highlight dependency arrows.
How To Create A Product Roadmap In 4 Valid Steps 
Red is usually a safe bet to use as an accent color, but other colors can work just as well, as long as they contrast with the surrounding colors to create visual sophistication.
Don’t know how to choose a highlight color? Read all about color selection in our article on the relationship between color and information.
My last piece of advice on building a product roadmap is to avoid including small tasks or extra details. The most effective maps focus on the big picture rather than specific action details.
Building A Product Roadmap! Explained
If your focus is only on high-level manufacturing strategy, a Gantt chart inventory map can be overwhelming. There are many simple options for planning project activities over time.
A simple project management schedule can be used to list the major events in the product development process. It’s really all you need if you want to set great goals.
By measuring each task in progress, you can add a little more detail to the project timeline. This provides a quick visual summary of a single project
Multiple Product Roadmap Template
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