Why You Need a Collaborative Product Roadmap

Your product roadmap is critical to conveying strategy and vision to those who need to know. Sales, marketing, engineering, production, customer support, executives are all stakeholders, including the end-user or customer.

When referring to a collaborative product roadmap, it’s not necessary that everyone should be able to edit and change it. But everyone should know and agree with the roadmap as a single source for product planning, strategy, and progress across your company.

You can’t build your roadmap in a silo, however. Here are 3 ways you can make your collaborative product roadmap a success.

#1. Develop your strategy collaboratively.

You need the input of all your stakeholders to make informed decisions about your strategy. Talk early in your planning with a wide variety of stakeholders. For example, talk to sources such as:

  • Salespeople who tell you exactly what customers want
  • Engineers who tell how you how to provide what your customers want
  • Executives who help you get the budget approved
  • Customer support who can help support the customer throughout the process

#2. Share your roadmap early and often.

Whatever the current iteration of your product roadmap, share it with your stakeholders for buy-in and to keep everyone in the loop. If you use a roadmapping software tool, you can even create customized roadmaps per audience. For example, you can show executives the high-level milestones and goals, while sharing more detailed information with your team. You can even make it available online to allow your different audiences to view the product roadmap from anywhere and drill down to the level of detail they need.

#3. Reach out to stakeholders at regular intervals.

Set up regular efforts to touch base with your different stakeholders to make sure everyone’s still on track. Connect with executives quarterly, while check with sales and marketing every month. The intervals are particular to the audience and their needs. As a rule, however, anytime the product roadmap changes, you should reach out to your stakeholders. Again, if you use a roadmapping software tool, it automatically notifies selected stakeholders when anything changes in your product roadmap.

Draft your product roadmap, collaborate and communicate with stakeholders, and keep it available at all times to increase attention where it should be—on your progress towards the goals and initiatives in your product roadmap.


Danny Ball

Co-founder & CEO at Hutwork. I’m working hard every day to ensure visual planning is at the forefront of today’s fascinating ideas. Click here to check us out on twitter.

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