A product roadmap offers a broad overview of all aspects of an upcoming product: mission goals, timeline, features, resource needed, et alia.
The roadmap indicates (1) what the web development team is building; (2) the problem the new functionality, or content type will solve; and (3) the business goals for the product.
Additionally, it should be noted that effective product roadmaps also serve as a fundamental strategic and communications asset when managing products. It offers the business owner a unique perspective on where the product is; where the product will be; and how to get there.
As part of the product development activity, the product roadmap should be developed early on, communicated at all levels within the business and understood in full, at all times. This way the business knows what direction they are travelling in.
Every manager will have his, or her preferred product roadmap flavour. Personally, I prefer to view it in three separate formats.
- MS WORD FORMAT – Including top-level descriptions of the initiatives
- GANTT CHART – This enables me to visualise the time-frames, reliance and prognosticate potential risks ahead. Gantt charts in general are a great way of understanding the project operations of a business
- POWERPOINT – This enables me to format for Board meetings, or for potential investors as it can visually explains the actual and planned activities effectively