Where can I find a good example of a product roadmap?


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I'm looking for a published roadmap for a web application that is still close to the minimum viable product. Ideally on a site that is also using uservoice

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asked Dec 28 '09 at 01:54
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User1269
158 points
  • Are you looking for ideas on the visual display of a roadmap, or more inspiration on a list of feature/release ideas? – Joseph Fung 8 years ago
  • If you are using agile development process then a roadmap should be easy as you will have a list of what you envision you want in the application, then you break that down to what you want to do on iterations, so you can get an idea when things will be added to the product, and what the minimum is for it to be of any use. – James Black 8 years ago
  • You could make this a community wiki. I was searching for MagentoCommerce's product roadmap (which is not available right now) on Google and stumbled upon this: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/694-you-dont-need-a-product-road-mapOlivier Lalonde 8 years ago
  • @Joseph I'm looking for a list of features/dates @James Thanks, but I'm still looking for a published example of one @Olalonde It can't be a community wiki, because it's the features the company plans to implement, which are not necessarily the ones the community wants – User1269 8 years ago
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2 Answers


4

Recommend you look here:
http://www.280group.com/productroadmaptemplates.htm I like a lot of the information and tools that this group has.

And I would say strongly that a product roadmap is good and important. You need to have a general idea where you are heading with the product, the time to get to various phases of that and the resources required. It also is the foundation for other functional activities. For example marketing. There might be a significant product upgrade that I build a marketing launch plan around or a specific feature that let's me pursue a new market segment. The roadmap is a coordinating point for all that. A successful company is, at the core, about having a product/service that offers value to users and is uniquely differentiated from the competition. And stays ahead of the competition...and continues to deliver more value that users need. The roadmap gives you perspective on where you are against those objectives today and where you'll be in the future.

Good luck!

answered Dec 31 '09 at 03:38
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Chris
4,214 points
  • With moderation - some people / orgs spend too much time defining & then adhering to a product roadmap when their market requires flexibility. The benefits of actually doing a business plan is not the completion of it, its the process behind getting your thoughts together then applying them to a living document. Roadmaps are no different. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” -- Eisenhower – Jim Galley 7 years ago
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1

Uggh. A road map? This rarely seems like a good idea. Unless you are maybe building say a giant corporation like a bank, and all sorts of people need to review your 2 year roadmap for compliance to laws and regulations.

You have an idea. Hopefully, your idea is going to help you accomplish something you need yourself. Just start building whatever it is that's going to help you start accomplishing it. Don't waste time documenting some dreaming of what all these features are going to be. Laser in on one feature. One page. That does the thing that your stuff is going to do 90% of the time. And just start molding it. Give yourself a goal of having it done in 2 weeks and then you are going to invite others to it no matter what condition its in.

It's how we build everything at Inkling and it works much better than anywhere else I've worked. Even at Inkling, we'll catch ourselves having a long phone conversation about where some features can go. Danger. Tomorrow you'll probably have a new idea, or some more insight from your customers that you need to reflect on and start molding your app differently.

answered Dec 31 '09 at 02:18
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Nathan Kontny
1,865 points
  • A roadmap is a useful way to know what features will be added in which iteration, so you can get an idea how the application will grow. It helps with setting expectations, training and documentation. In an agile methodology you will have a rough roadmap, but, it still provides some guidance. – James Black 8 years ago
  • I agree with James. People always have a roadmap even if it's just in their heads. There is nothing wrong with wanting to communicate this to others. – Dane 8 years ago
  • The time it's taken to create this question and read these answers could have been much better spent doing 1 thing: building the thing you are going to use 90% of the time to get that nagging thing you need to get done better. The odds are enormous that whatever you think is important today, will be different in a week. And yet people cling to their plans because they spent so much time on them. A product roadmap is a great way to get in the habit of talking instead of doing. Planning is overrated. – Nathan Kontny 8 years ago
  • @Nathan I completely disagree, having a roadmap gives your customers a realistic idea of where you're headed. If your users mistakenly think the MVP is the finished product, then you run the risk of losing them. – User1269 8 years ago
  • There's nothing realistic about telling your customers what your product is going to do on paper. We've been hit by this countless times. We'd tell clients: "Hey here is what we are building. Sound like something you would use? Here is even a video of the feature in action. Sound good still?" And of course you get a lot of yesses at this point. Problem is when they actually use it. Now they realize it isn't what they want. Spend your time building small things quickly, not writing about what you think your going to build. – Nathan Kontny 8 years ago
  • "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything" (Dwight D. Eisenhower). I think a roadmap is valuable so that your customers can see where your business is going. It inspires trust. As long as you don't commit to highly specific tasks and you leave the door open to change. "Based on what we know today, this is what we're planning". People's priorities change but your entire business shouldn't. – Mr Grieves 5 years ago
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