This post is a part of a series discussing Agile Product Management responsibilities. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of posts in this series.
In order to be successful, Agile product managers need to have comprehensive product roadmaps. To create an effective roadmap, a Product Manager has to work in cooperative partnership with all product stakeholders and consider a wide range of inputs. These roadmaps are designed to show how tactical development and release plans integrate into a company’s overall approach to products and services.
Roadmaps are at the core of an Agile product manager’s product strategy. They can be used to identify release windows, gather consensus, assign features their respective priorities, and effectively communicate all of this data to the whole organization. Agile product managers construct their roadmaps during planning sessions that involve collaboration with marketers, architects, engineers, and other stakeholders.
As Agile product managers are frequently called upon to repeat the same communications in a readily understandable and appropriate manner for a variety of different audiences, a proper roadmap can be used to provide the whole product story. It will need to address the following:
Details segments to be concentrated upon in the upcoming 6- to 24-month period and, ultimately, how the product / service might address each segment’s requirements.
• Features and Benefits
Outlines which three or four product features will be the most market-effective
• Marketplace Events
Used to figure out which upcoming time-sensitive outside influences (i.e., trade shows, regulatory changes, competitive events, etc.) will set the pace for feature delivery dates.
Lists work items that technical members have indicated as dependent on other underlying architectural items which will be needed to deliver releases. Technical architecture is usually absent from solely market-driven maps, which hinders proper estimations and the ability to adjust according to feasibility and resource restrictions. A good Product Manager gets the whole team to identify technical issues and problems at the start of the planning process, thus minimizing the financial impact of making changes.
My next post will talk about how to use roadmap for release planning.