Benefits of Roadmap Metrics

Cameron Fitchett
Product Marketing Manager at ProductPlan

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A tool is only helpful if people are using it. We’ve all got exercise equipment, cooking gadgets, or crafting supplies lying in corners and closets collecting dust and good intentions. There’s nothing wrong with those items, but they’re also not adding any value while they sit idle. Understanding the benefits of roadmap metrics can help align your product team. For this reason, tracking whether or not your roadmaps are being used can help guide your product team towards a shared vision.

Roadmaps add value when used regularly by coworkers and other stakeholders. But once you email or Slack a document, you have no idea if anyone even opened it a single time. The lack of visibility may have you wondering if anyone actually referred to it. There’s simply no way to measure, leaving you with doubts and uncertainty.

When the Ideal Meets Reality

Roadmaps intend to create and reinforce alignment across the organization. They give everyone a clear view of the direction of the product or project. They connect to the key themes, strategic goals, and intended outcomes of those efforts.

In a perfect world, individuals reviewing and referencing roadmaps would happen all the time. Roadmaps would be part of everyone’s daily or weekly routines. Yet far too often, roadmaps are glanced at briefly. Sometimes they may get ignored until an issue forces a second look. 

If people aren’t looking at your roadmaps regularly and using them to guide their own work, they aren’t living up to their full potential. Even worse, some stakeholders might still be viewing old and outdated roadmaps without realizing it, making their plans based on false information.

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Solving a Pervasive Problem

Using a purpose-built, cloud-based roadmapping tool such as ProductPlan alleviates many of these issues. For one thing, as long as people are using the web viewer to see your roadmaps, you’ll know they’re always looking at the latest version.

Beyond this critical version control advantage, these tools can also provide product managers, scrum masters, project managers, and other roadmap authors with additional insights. We want to help you treat your roadmaps as a product. That means understanding if and how people are engaging with them. This is why we built roadmap Activity Metrics, so you can now see exactly how often your individuals view your roadmap each week.

Putting Roadmap Activity Metrics into Action

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With this data, you’ll have a much better sense of whether your roadmaps are collecting digital dust or accessed regularly. Product Ops and project managers can track roadmap activity metrics just like other KPIs and metrics.

After an update is shared and communicated, roadmap authors can eyeball these metrics to ensure a corresponding spike in views occurred. If not, they’ll know they need to use other vehicles to prompt this action, from leveraging a company all-hands meeting to other tactics specifically tailored to engage critical stakeholders.

Additionally, roadmap owners can pursue a different course of action if roadmap activity metrics indicate that views are too low in between announced updates. Initiating open, frank discussions with various stakeholders and colleagues, you can investigate why they’re not viewing your roadmap more often.

Analyzing roadmap metrics may reveal a host of unknowns, from a general lack of awareness to missing information and context. These unknowns make the roadmap valuable to your product team and stakeholders. If the latter scenario turns out to be the case, you can create custom views of the roadmap for each of these audiences, ensuring it has the most relevant information.

Analyzing roadmap activity metrics can help you manage your product team better. By seeing the number of individuals who view your roadmap, you’ll be able to jump in and coach your team to socialize the roadmap’s contents and value better. It may also be an early indicator that their roadmap is flawed or missing something.

Another Measure of Success

Every business has many ways to measure its overall success, from revenues and profits to usage, adoption, and churn. But our internal processes don’t always have as many data points to track and put to use.

Your roadmap metrics deserve a spot on your organization’s Product Ops dashboard. These artifacts are too essential to ignore. Roadmap authors now have the power to evaluate their utilization and effectiveness.

Learn more about how roadmap activity metrics work in ProductPlan or schedule a full demo today!

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