Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Product Roadmap Design | Fundamental Planning Considerations


Planning out a product roadmap design requires careful consideration of how ideas are to be incorporated into your plans in order to produce product lines that target the right markets. Here I’ll show you an end-to-end process for creating product roadmaps from scratch.

Product managers usually have the sole responsibility of administering and creating the product roadmap. The starting point is to bring together as many ideas as possible about new potential lines. This can incorporate new technologies, elements of your business development strategy, feature requests, target customer segments, etc. All employees should be able to contradict their own ideas matter which department they are in.

The major task of organizing these ideas should be done based on market capitalization. The reason for doing this is that you can then set out specific products that target each market. You can also research the potential return on investment for each target market (based on market size, potential penetration rates, competition, etc.). This analysis will immediately bring up several markets which are most desirable and should be focused on.

The product roadmap should then focus in on one or two lines with short-term goals for the specific markets. Long-term opportunities could also be included into your product roadmap but the real danger is that they will always be prone to changing in the long-term.

Collaboration with your architecture board/engineering teams should also be done to establish if there are any foundation components that can help reusability of initial product lines. This can prove to be profitable at later stages if variations on initial product lines can be made.

Your product roadmap should then be reviewed by your colleagues and peers and changes factored in. The product roadmap itself will change over time to include new technologies and markets that are identified. It is still however still the sole responsibility of the product manager (or sometimes the CTO) to administer and communicate all changes that are being made.