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Product Roadmapping

Product Roadmapping

Presented at ProductCamp Boston 2016. How to road-map your product?

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C. Todd Lombardo

April 09, 2016
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  1. Product Roadmapping C. TODD LOMBARDO CHIEF DESIGN STRATEGIST @IAMCTODD

  2. Overview

  3. What is a Product Roadmap?

  4. What is a Product Roadmap? A strategic communication artifact that

    conveys the path you’ll take to fulfill your product vision. It’s simple and focused on the big picture.
  5. What is a Product Roadmap NOT?!

  6. What is a Product Roadmap NOT?! It is not a

    spec or release plan - so leave out the dates! It is not a laundry list of features and components. It should not include job or user stories. It is not a single path (think tree, not road).
  7. What is it designed to do?

  8. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future
  9. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists"
  10. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists" FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: forces the right strategic conversations about outcomes instead of deliverables
  11. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists" FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: forces the right strategic conversations about outcomes instead of deliverables EVOLVE: sets a stable direction but allows stakeholders to discuss change resulting from iterative learning
  12. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists" FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: forces the right strategic conversations about outcomes instead of deliverables EVOLVE: sets a stable direction but allows stakeholders to discuss change resulting from iterative learning INSPIRE CONFIDENCE: answer “are we heading in the right direction?” and “is this the right order?”
  13. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists" FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: forces the right strategic conversations about outcomes instead of deliverables EVOLVE: sets a stable direction but allows stakeholders to discuss change resulting from iterative learning INSPIRE CONFIDENCE: answer “are we heading in the right direction?” and “is this the right order?” PRODUCE METRICS: keeps improvement iterative and incremental through outcome based planning
  14. What is it designed to do? ALIGN: promotes buy-in from

    all teams and aligns everyone on the direction towards a specified future CREATE COMMON LANGUAGE: specific enough for the ‘Traditionalists’ but not too detailed “Agile-ists" FOCUS ON OUTCOMES: forces the right strategic conversations about outcomes instead of deliverables EVOLVE: sets a stable direction but allows stakeholders to discuss change resulting from iterative learning INSPIRE CONFIDENCE: answer “are we heading in the right direction?” and “is this the right order?” PRODUCE METRICS: keeps improvement iterative and incremental through outcome based planning PREVENT MISTAKES: avoid building the wrong thing, which is especially important for agile development
  15. Who uses it? ALL Stakeholders!

  16. Who uses it? ALL Stakeholders! PRODUCT MANAGERS - communicate with

    stakeholders, get universal buy-in, and plan ahead. DESIGN - understand direction and stay focused on user goals DEVELOPMENT - allocate resources and speed future development SALES & MARKETING- craft the story to entice new customers and upgrades CUSTOMERS - understand value and what to expect in future versions CUSTOMER SUPPORT - ensure reps are trained to help with new features EXECUTIVES & BOARD- keep track of progress and align with business goals. PARTNERS - take stock of the relationship and anticipate synergies
  17. The Roadmapping Process VISION OBJECTIVES PRIORITIZE ROADMAP USER 
 GOALS

    SOLUTIONS THEMES
  18. Required Inputs

  19. 1) Clearly defined Problem and Solution Why? You have to

    know what you’re doing and why, before you start thinking about where you’re going. PROBLEM SOLUTION If this hasn’t happened yet, see our work on Design Sprints!
  20. Clarify the Problem and Solution By the time you get

    to the Roadmapping phase you should already have a clearly defined problem with a solution that has been validated. If that hasn’t happened yet, see our work on Design Sprints! Purpose: You have to know what you’re doing and why, before you start thinking about where you’re going. Problem: Travelers want a better way to find great eateries while on a trip. Solution: A restaurant recommendation and booking engine that mirrors our highly successful hotel platform. EXAMPLE PROBLEM SOLUTION
  21. 2) Developed Personas Why? You need to be able to

    empathize with your users so you can understand and anticipate their needs. Think? Feel? Hear? See? Do? Think? Feel? Hear? See? Do? Name: Dick Age: 55 Job: Salesman Tasks: Develop trust Motivations: Happiness Obstacles: Time Name: Jane Age: 27 Job: Advertising Tasks: Create programs Motivations: Viral reach Obstacles: Superiors
  22. 3) User Journeys for their current experience Why? You need

    to fully understand how they’re currently solving the problem in order to make it better for them. Jane wakes up makes coffee walks dog catches train reads paper arrives at office
  23. Personas & User Journeys Make sure you have your personas

    in place, and that you understand the steps they currently take to solve the problem in question. What are the alternatives they’re currently using and where are their biggest pain points? Purpose: Empathize with your users so you can understand and anticipate their needs. EXAMPLE • Extend user time in app • Grow advertising market around restaurants • Enhance user experience
  24. 4) Talk to your users! Why? You need to interact

    with actual users to validate their actions, needs and pain points.
  25. The Roadmapping Process VISION OBJECTIVES PRIORITIZE ROADMAP USER 
 GOALS

    SOLUTIONS THEMES IN PU TS
  26. 1. Set the Vision

  27. Set the Strategic Product Vision Your Strategic Product Direction is

    simply the answer to When, What, How, Who, Where, Why in a few simple sentences. Use the below framework. Why? Get your vision into a clear statement to gain buy-in and alignment on direction from all stakeholders. When: at a time when ___________ What: our product is the only ___________ How: that _____________ Who: for ______________ Where: in ______________ Why: who ____________
  28. Think: Movies!

  29. Set the Strategic Product Vision Your Strategic Product Direction is

    simply the answer to When, What, How, Who, Where, Why in a few simple sentences. Use the below framework. Purpose: Get your vision into a clear statement to gain buy-in and alignment on direction from all stakeholders. • At a time when travel is frequent, but travelers plan less… • our product is the only international restaurant recommendation engine… • that gives immediate recommendations based on location and review… • for the everyday traveler… • from countries all over the world… • who want to save time and energy finding local eatery gems • When: in an era of ___________ • What: our product is the only ___________ • How: that _____________ • Who: for ______________ • Where: in ______________ • Why: who ____________ EXAMPLE
  30. 2. Create objectives

  31. Identify 1-5 Strategic Objectives What types of value do you

    want your product to add to your business? These should be high-level and define a desired end state. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Why? All items in the roadmap should map back to a strategic objective to create guardrails and guide direction. Grow the user base Enhance customer satisfaction Improve performance Validate learning Increase revenue this year
  32. Strategic Objectives Create 1 - 5 high-level objectives that define

    the desired end state. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Here are some examples:
 • Grow the user base • Increase customer satisfaction • Improve performance • Validate learning • Increase revenue this year New products may or may not benefit from multiple Strategic Goals in the beginning because the goal is simply to build v1. Sometimes these are best used for existing and growing products. Purpose: Create guardrails for your roadmap. These high- level objectives define and guide your direction. All items in the roadmap should map back to a strategic objective. EXAMPLE • Extend user time in app • Grow advertising business around restaurants • Improve the app store ratings
  33. 3. User goals

  34. Define User Goals Use your user pre-existing journeys to help

    you list the goals each persona needs to accomplish when using your product. Why? Your user has to accomplish certain tasks while using your product in order to solve her problem. Goal #1: Goal #2: Goal #3: Goal #4: Goal #5: Persona: Jane the Business traveler
  35. User Goals Step 1: Define Use your user journeys as

    a guide in helping you list the goals that each persona type needs to accomplish when using the product. This is a good time to check-in with actual users to really understand their needs. Purpose: Empathize with the user and understand what goals she wants to accomplish in order for your product (aka solution) to solve her problem and be valuable to her. EXAMPLE Goal #1 Goal #2 Goal #3 Goal #4 Goal #5 Persona: Jane Find a restaurant at the last minute Find a restaurant near my hotel See feedback from other patrons Find a restaurant by cuisine Make me look knowledgable to my fellow travelers Help me brag about where I’ve been Persona: Jane
  36. Prune User Goals Purpose: Make sure everything you build relates

    to a goal you’ve validated as important to your user’s experience. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Goal #1 Goal #2 Goal #3 ✓ X X ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Is each goal relevant and validated? Try using the 5 Why’s test here.
  37. User Goals Step 2: Prune Purpose: Make sure everything you

    build helps the user address an actual need or accomplish a real goal when using your product. Get rid of the rest. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Goal #1 Goal #2 Goal #3 ✓ X X ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Take some time now to prune your goals. Is each goal relevant and validated? The best way to do this is to talk to actual customers! However, you can also run the 5 Why’s test on each goal. Keep asking why the goal is important until you validate or invalidate it’s value. EXAMPLE Goal: Find a restaurant by cuisine ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Why? Because I want to quickly find restaurants near me that serve the kind of food I’m in the mood for Why? Because I don’t have time to do all the searching for myself Why? Because I’m traveling and want to spend the time enjoying myself, not worrying about where to eat Why? Because I want to have a great trip
  38. 4. Solutions

  39. Purpose: Considering all options helps us determine if building something

    is better than what already exists. Open your mind about how each goal might be accomplished. Don’t assume your first idea is the right path! Diverge on Possible Solutions Goal Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution
  40. Purpose: Open your mind about how a goal might be

    accomplished. Don’t assume your first idea is the right path! Sometimes the simple or non-obvious solutions are best. Consider every possible solution for the goal, even non- digital solutions or solutions not related to the product. Considering all options helps us determine if building something is better than what already exists. EXAMPLE Goal: Find a restaurant by cuisine Diverge on Possible Solutions Goal Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution List of Cuisines Pictures of food by cuisine Select country of origin on a map Auto-populate search box Select flag for country of origin Ask a local Ask hotel concierge
  41. Converge on Solutions Purpose: Narrow down the potential solutions and

    select which ones to move forward with. Work with all stakeholders to choose which solution the group thinks is best for best for each goal you’ve identified. Do this by simple dot voting (each stakeholder gets 3 dots to vote on his/her top choices), or by using the $100 dollar test (each stakeholder gets $100 to spend any way they like on the solutions they think are best). Goal Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution Goal Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution Potential Solution $45 $25 $20 $10
  42. 5. Goals + Solutions = Themes

  43. Why? Themes are the items on your roadmap. They keep

    track of what’s important to the user and what has to be done to move the product towards solving their problem. A well thought through goal plus a validated solution becomes what we call a “Theme”. Goals/Solutions become Themes GOAL Theme SOLUTION = +
  44. Purpose: Themes are the items on your roadmap. They keep

    track of what’s important to the user and what has to be done to move the product towards addressing their needs. You’ve identified the most important goals your user will need accomplish, and selected the best method for how your product to help them do so. These goals/solutions have now made the transition to what we call “Themes”. Goals/Solutions become Themes GOAL Theme SOLUTION = + EXAMPLE Find a restaurant by cuisine Select country of origin on map Cuisine search and select by map + User Goal Solution Theme =
  45. 6. Determine Priorities

  46. Now work with your stakeholders to prioritize the themes. Base

    this on three factors: Feasibility (technology), Desirability (human), and Viability (business). Prioritize Themes Why? Make sure you’re focusing on the most important themes, and building them in the right sequence. Feasibility
 (technical) Desirability (human) Viability (business) Engineering Design Sales Marketing Product Managers Executives
  47. Next work with stakeholders to prioritize the themes so you

    can determine what is the best order to design and build. Base this on three factors: Feasibility (technology), Desirability (human), and Viability (business). It’s very helpful to rate the different factors by stakeholder team. For each theme rate the 3 factors from 1 to 5 (low to high). Feasibility
 (technical) Desirability (human) Viability (business) Prioritize Themes Purpose: Make sure you’re focusing on the most important themes, and building them in th right sequence. Engineering Design Sales Marketing Product Managers Executives EXAMPLE Feasibility Desirability Viability TOTALS Restaurant reviews 5 5 5 15 User expertise rating 3 4 4 11 Cuisine search and select by map 2 4 3 9 Auto-populate search 5 2 2 9 Order of priority
  48. Another valuable step is to scope the each theme. This

    helps you develop a rough understanding of how much time it’s going to take to design and build each theme. You don’t want to use exact dates here, but rather ballpark measurements. A good tool for this is what is sometimes called “T-shirt” sizing. Like the sizes of a t-shirt, each theme can be labeled as tiny, small, medium, large, or huge. It’s helpful to have a comparison theme you’ve built in the past to use as your benchmark. Scope your Themes Purpose: Understand how each theme adds up to define the general length and breadth of the project. Size Cuisine search and select by map Large Restaurant reviews Medium User expertise rating Huge Auto-populate search Small EXAMPLE
  49. 7. Roadmap Visual

  50. Remember, roadmapping is not a single stream. Organizing your themes

    into a product tree can help structure product areas and see how the themes relate. The Product Tree Purpose: Visualize the structure of your product so you can see the big picture and know where to focus your resources. Trunk = the core product Branches = the streams, product areas Roots = infrastructure, engineering operates here
  51. User Profile User Recomme ndations Map of Cuisines User Expertise

    Rating Search near me Restauran t Reviews Social media API’s Share with Friend Auto-pop Search Search by City OpenTable API Customer Support FAQ’s Trip Advisor Example
  52. Now it’s time to build your theme based roadmap. Since

    the roadmap is focused on describing major blocks of work, it’s best to use general timeframes. The Timeframe Why? Create the visual representation of your roadmap in a format that can be shared. Current Term, Near Term, Future Term Now, Next, Later Next 6 weeks, next 6 months, next 6 years 3 or 6 month intervals, over 1 to 3 years
  53. Finally, as we mentioned in the beginning, it’s helpful to

    map the themes on your roadmap back to your strategic objectives. A great way to do this is to simply color code your objectives. Color Coding Why? Make sure you’re building the right things for the right reasons. Extend user time in app Grow advertising market around restaurants Enhance user experience
  54. Now Next Later User Profile Auto-pop Search Social media API’s

    Map of Cuisines User Reviews and Recommendations Share with Friend Restaurant Reviews Search by City User Expertise Rating Customer Support OpenTable API The Roadmap Extend user time in app Grow advertising market around restaurants Enhance user experience
  55. Two Versions Generally it’s good to separate the roadmap into

    two versions: one internal with more detail, and external for more high- level communication. High-level Detail Internal Initiatives Public Initiatives CEO & Execs Sales & Marketing Product Managers Dev Ops Customer Support Trusted Customers Development Partners General Public
  56. ctodd@freshtilledsoil.com