How to improve Product Roadmap presentation
July 1, 2018
July 1, 2018
For a product manager, the product roadmap is the most important deliverable of their position. The product roadmap when done correctly can provide excellent visibility into the long term vision of the product future and as a result, make it clear on what features need to be included in upcoming releases in order to accomplish the product roadmap. Additionally, by having a single location that defines your product future, all team members, customers and stakeholders can view your plan and provide feedback loops into the vision to ensure you are constantly building the best product possible. While the product roadmap is a critical document for a product team, many product managers are still using Excel, Word or plain old whiteboards to maintain their product future. This makes it challenging to use as a collaboration tool and provide an easy to view product roadmap presentation that adds value to the team.
Here are three tips on how to improve product roadmap presentation to get the most out of the deliverable:
1. Visualize the product roadmap: Most product managers have their product planning in their head and see the moving parts where they want to go. This does not help when it comes time to present your product roadmap. You need to be able to visually show your product roadmap in a Gantt chart or other visual tool that lets you show the picture of your product strategy. Most people are critics and if you put something in front of them, they will provide feedback. If you are only able to talk to your product roadmap without anything visual to present, you will lose their interest. Ensure the visual allows your stakeholders to understand your product strategy and the chunks of work needed to accomplish it.
2. Right Level Of Information: Product Roadmaps need to convey the future of your product to layout rough timelines that different features will be delivered but not so specific that it becomes engraved in stone. Additionally, the features you plan to release should be high level and not at the requirement level for the product roadmap. You need to make sure you are balancing the level of detail for your product roadmap presentation to show enough visibility into what you are building and a general layout of when they will be done but not so detailed that the plan becomes unchangeable or hard to be flex as all product plans change and you need to maintain that ability.
3. Be Confident: When discussing your product roadmap, it is important to do more than just read what you write on your plan. You need to be able to speak to your product strategy and how your product roadmap aligns to that plan. Remember, product managers are always needing to sell their vision on why their product roadmap will generate more users and grow the business. Team members like developers, support, sales, marketing and other resources need to buy into what you are planning to build so they have confidence in the future of your product. When doing your product roadmap presentation, it is important you are able to speak to all aspects of it, with confidence and also openness to change and feedback.
Learning how to improve product roadmap presentation can really start out by ensuring that you are covering three main areas which are to start out with the full vision of your product roadmap and put together a visual representation of where you see the product going over the next 1, 3 and 5 years. Ensure the document you create provides enough details to convey the message but not so many details that you bury the audience in the details and they get lost into the specifics instead of the strategy. Finally, when you are presenting your product roadmap, always be confident that you have done the work of creating a product strategy and a product plan that aligns to that strategy. The presentation is for your teams information but also to continue to sell and get buy in on your vision of the product roadmap.