What is a Product Roadmap?
A Product Roadmap is a plan of action for how a product or solution will evolve. Product teams must be successful. Product Roadmapping is like storytelling: mapping out the vision and direction of your product offering over time while creating a framework for overcoming and avoiding obstacles that could throw your team off track.
A Product Roadmap consists of:
- Themes – a high-level objective for a product or broad strategic goals that map to the corporate strategy set by executive stakeholders
- Epics – a group of features or stories with a common strategic aim
- Stories – the development work designed to accomplish a specific goal of the product
- Features – a product’s traits or attributes that deliver value to end-users
Having the right tools to define and outline roadmaps to fit an organization’s unique needs can be just as critical. Many enterprise-level organizations turn to Atlassian Jira Align for their Product Roadmapping needs.
Setting (and Keeping) the Product Roadmap
Creating a roadmap for the product team is one of the keys to success for all product teams. Setting the roadmap is challenging enough, but product teams face a consistent challenge sticking to it.
There are many moving pieces for product strategists, one being minding the gap between product execution and corporate strategy. For any type of product, there are always inputs coming in from different angles, such as OKRs, Product Analysis, Customer Feedback, Defects, Surveys/NPS, etc. Leadership is handing down strategic goals that need to be met, but once you bring product or mid-level management into the process, it’s easy to be taken off the path. It is critical to prioritize all these different inputs by defining what is truly important for your target market and then executing on that to create a product that delivers value to your customer.
Jira Align gives organizations the ability to create a robust Product Roadmap set from strategic themes. Since multiple products are impacted, Jira Align helps identify and define clear MVPs (minimum viable products) for Portfolio epics, down to the feature elements allowing for delivery of specific product values.
The Roadmap module also contains reporting features to identify progress and subjective data to help maneuver product delivery and mind the gap between product execution and corporate strategy. This gives everyone visibility into what is happening in product development, allowing for the agility needed to pivot when updates are required throughout a project.
Identifying Measurable Outcomes
Once you set a product roadmap, one of the next vital steps is identifying the measurable outcomes. You will need two things for this:
- Understanding what your product is
- Understanding who your product is for
A product is anything made for and delivered to a consumer to satisfy a specific need. So how do we measure the success or failure of a product? The main focus of a product is the delivery of value to the consumer. So, that’s how success or failure is defined. To know whether or not you’re hitting the goals set from your strategic themes, you need to identify what you’re measuring. What value do you intend to provide?
Understanding your target market and developing accurate personas is an important area that receives surprisingly little attention in many organizations. However, without a deep understanding of your target market, it is impossible to build a product that delivers value.
Once you’ve clearly defined your product, your market, and the value your product will provide, you have the tools you need to identify your measurable outcomes.
Whatever you are measuring, whatever value you intend to deliver, it has to be tracked against the portfolio. Measurement must be finalized to determine how much needs to be accomplished when. And that must drive back to your roadmap.
As mentioned earlier, the gap between product execution and corporate strategy can lead to miscommunication and misalignment. This presents a formidable challenge for many.
You can use Jira Align to visualize the framework described above. Doing so will help product managers identify targets, create personas, and map them to the desired outcomes. The result is a clear picture of strategy, a plan to deliver on that strategy, a timeframe for delivery, and value measurement.
Steering the Product From the Roadmap
Value Engineering with Portfolio Epics
Jira Align is great for trackability and reporting, but also for Value Engineering. Value engineering is defined as an organized and systematic effort directed at analyzing the “value” of products or services. As product maturity increases, the need to better understand where the pivot and preserver points are for Portfolio Epics grows with it. Jira Align builds Value Engineering right into the Epics, enabling you to set up a clear hypothesis and gain greater insight and decision-making confidence.
Within Jira Align, you can communicate every layer of value you’ve achieved after delivering the MVP. Every release can add layers, documenting the process along the way. You can pivot from where you thought the answer was, adjusting and moving to where the market is pointing.
Now that you have determined the product value that you want to accomplish, you can identify what goes into delivery. It’s time to go through the backlog and find what you need to set up technical value to deliver. From here, you can validate the plan against the roadmap and steer that plan to execution.
The Product Roadmap in Jira Align allows you to compile information on an objective, set a plan, view progress and health, as well as value delivered down to date by a specific product within a given period. The Product Roadmap becomes the synchronizing report for tracking all data, pinpointing where adjustments need to be made, and enabling proactive decision-making to adjust the plan when needed.
Product Roadmapping is key to success for any product development team. There will always be unexpected bumps in the road. But having Product Roadmaps in Jira Align will prepare you to make the necessary adjustments to meet your strategic goals. And that is critical to any organization or product development team looking to reach its full potential.
For more information on Product Roadmapping with Jira Align or a custom consultation with one of our experienced Jira Align experts, visit https://www.cprime.com/jira-align/.
Whether you need help implementing your Jira Align instance, administering and optimizing it, setting up your Product Roadmap, or just looking for discounted licensing, we’d love to help!