Getting clarity on the product roadmap within larger organizations can be challenging.
In addition to multiple product launches, there are often distinct product, marketing, and IT roadmaps – each with their own timeframe.
It can get messy.
To complicate things, each product manager tends to plan and present their roadmap differently. The problems don’t become apparent until the roadmaps need to be consolidated into a single view for the executive team and other stakeholders.
Here are some tips for getting consistency across teams when planning and presenting your roadmap.
First Get Alignment on the Vision and Goals
Let’s start with the basics. Before you can produce the roadmap there needs to be a core agreement on the product vision and goals. Without this strategy you are fighting an uphill battle. Everything on your roadmap, including the initiatives, legend, and other items will flow from the product goals.
A common way to organize a product roadmap is to group similar items by strategic goals. For example, your goals might include “improve customer satisfaction,” “mobile first,” or “double conversions.” Once you have alignment on these basic goals, it makes producing unified roadmaps much easier. If you don’t already have alignment on the strategy, start now.
Roadmaps across Teams: Unify Your View
Your roadmap is a communication tool, first and foremost. So it’s important to have a presentation that’s compelling, looks nice, and tells the story you want to tell.
For teams, it’s equally important to tell the story consistently. Especially if your manager is spending hours merging your roadmap into a presentation or template. Then re-merging again when the plan changes.
You’ll want to have alignment on the roadmap style, legend, color coding, time horizon, and level of granularity.
Seeing the Master Plan
With the Master Plan feature of ProductPlan, each member of the team can be responsible for their own roadmap, but include their roadmap into a consolidated portfolio view with the other roadmaps.
The Master Plan helps to consolidate roadmaps from product teams across the company. You can also include Marketing, operations, and IT roadmaps if needed. Some ProductPlan customers are consolidating a dozen or more roadmaps using the Master Plan feature.
In only a few seconds, anyone, including the VP of Product can aggregate the entire team’s roadmaps into a unified Master Plan, saving hours of time. In addition, if anything in the underlying roadmap changes, the Master Plan remains up to date.
A Master Plan gives you a way to present a consistent roadmap for different audiences across multiple teams. Even though the underlying roadmaps may use different timeframes, timeline styles (e.g. monthly versus sprints), and other characteristics, you can create a single consistent product portfolio view for executives.
Your manager will thank you.