As soon as you have identified your product vision, you should start building a product roadmap. (For more information, please check out: The Roadmap to Value the Agile Way.)
When to use a Product Roadmap?
As mentioned in Part one, a Product Roadmap is a plan for how a product or solution evolves over time throughout the overall product lifecycle.
Here are key areas where a Product Roadmap is instrumental:
Product release planning
Product development KPIs and Metrics
Internal product communication
External product communication
How to create a Product Roadmap?
The product owner creates the product roadmap with help from the development team. In the product roadmap phase, requirements, estimates, and timeframes start at a high-level and are being refined based on changes such as new priorities.
A product roadmap can be as simple as sticky notes arranged on a white board — which makes updates as easy as moving a sticky note from one section of the white board to another. You can also use Excel, PowerPoint, Confluence plugin,etc. to create your roadmaps. For specialized application software -- Roadmuck, ProductPlan, The GO Product Roadmap, and Aha -- offer greater flexible and cooperative functionalities.
The best approach is to start with a “goal first” and work to build consensus before building and sharing the roadmap.
Get consensus on the product goals
Apply it to new products or services or existing offerings
Create a new document within the Product Management document
Get buy-in on the Internal Roadmap from your team(s) and finalize it
Bring releases and features together for a unified view
Use it as a strategic communication tool
Customize your roadmap based on who will view it
Create an External Roadmap based on the Internal Roadmap
Display its graphic representation
Review, analyze, prioritize, estimate, update, and share it regularly
Treat a roadmap as a project plan or Gantt chart
Include every feature in the product backlog or engineering bug
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." -- George S. Patton