Every product starts with an idea. Your product could be the next big thing, but without a roadmap to guide you, it would be hard to get there. This blog post will give you the product development roadmap that you need in order to succeed! We will discuss topics such as product planning and product management so that your product is successful from start to finish.
What is Product Development?
Product development is a strategy or a process of creating a product that can help people solve problems. It is also about creating new product features or just improve an existing product. The product development process comprises multiple phases, each with its own unique set of activities.
What Does the Product Development Process Look Like?
You can find many frameworks to help you with product development out there. Some of these include a fuzzy front-end approach and design thinking approach.
Here, we will go through the FFE approach. Here’s what it looks like:
Define the design criteria
This includes brainstorming new ideas that could be a new product. Here, you need to write all the characteristics that you’d want to include in your product.
Market analysis & research
Here, you need to conduct some researches to find the viability of your product idea. To assess the viability of a product concept, use market data and other sorts of research.
Concept or product design generation
This is where product design starts. You should have a clear idea of what product you want to create and how it will solve the problems that your customers are facing.
Concept or product design evaluation
Here, you should focus on product feasibility, product differentiation, and your competitive positioning while evaluating the product ideas.
Prototyping or creating a model
Here, you should consider the technology that you are going to use in order to create your product, and then come up with product features that will help you with product differentiation. You should include these in your model.
Test the model
You should test your product model in order to study how it works. You can do so by creating a prototype of the product, and then asking people to use it.
Product development is a process of product design and features. This includes product refinement, product redesign, product engineering activities, and the production phase.
Product launch is product release to the market. Some of the product launch strategies include product piloting, product beta testing, and soft launching.
Do you want to know the exact phases of product development? Then, we recommend you read our article Product Development Process: Create Successful Products.
What is a product development roadmap?
A product development roadmap is a document that shows how you and your team will develop your product over time. It includes product details and the timeline for delivering these features.
Why do You Need a product development roadmap?
You need to have a product development roadmap in order for your product to be successful. You can use a product development roadmap to communicate product priorities, work objectives and product progress.
The product development roadmap will help you with:
- Setting realistic product development milestones.
- Communicating product updates with your team members.
- Aligning product owners, managers and executives on product progress.
Product Development Roadmap vs. Product Roadmap
Just to be clear, product development roadmap is different from product roadmaps. While product development roadmap focuses on how your team will develop the product over time, product roadmap focuses on your product strategy and major milestones.
Product development roadmap is a plan that shows how you will develop products while time passes. This product development plan or roadmap typically includes product features and the timeline for delivering these product features.
Product roadmap is used to communicate product priorities, business objectives, product progress and the product’s strategic vision and milestones.
How to Build a Product Development Roadmap?
Now that we know what product development roadmap is and why product owners need to build these roadmaps, let’s look at how you can build product development roadmaps.
1. Set an obvious goal for the development of your product.
You and your team should not see the product development roadmap as a simple to-do list. Everything in this plan must contribute to the product’s success in some way.
You and your team must first establish a strategic goal for the roadmap before adding items to it. Then, after you’ve identified each item you want to add, assess it based on how it fits into the overall objective.
2. Agree on who from your team is responsible for each one activity.
A product development roadmap is useless unless each goal on it has someone responsible for it. As a result, each one of your team has accepted responsibility for finishing the work on schedule.
In addition, product owners or managers should include their product development roadmap in a shared location that is accessible to everyone on the product team.
3. Keep track of the product development roadmap and change as needed to stay on target.
Once you’ve set product development milestones, it’s important to keep track of them regularly. You should know how much time each goal will take before adding it to the product development roadmap.
Also, you should update your product roadmaps as time goes on and adjust the milestones or deadlines accordingly. You can use product management software if you want to keep product roadmaps updated in real-time.
4. Be ready to change strategies and priorities as circumstances change.
While product development roadmaps are meant to be long term, you must also remain flexible. You should update them when necessary or whenever your product team decides it’s time for a product development roadmap change.
For instance, if you direct a portion of your marketing resources to a more essential project, you must prepare yourself to accept and adjust the situation in order to keep product marketing on track.
5. Start with a product development roadmap template.
It might get very difficult to build product roadmaps without a product development template. So, your best bet is using product roadmap templates that you can easily customize to suit your product’s needs.
Once you’ve found a product development roadmap template that works for your product, consider filling in the details of each one on it. If you find product development roadmap templates difficult to use, you can always hire product management developers.
How to structure a product development roadmap?
There are different product development roadmap structures to choose from.
You can create product roadmaps in the form of a timeline, which will show your product development milestones organized into projects that take place over time.
In addition, you can group your product development milestones into themes or categories according to their product status, product phase, or product requirements. You can also sort product development milestones into a product backlog according to when your team will implement them in the product development roadmap.
Product development roadmaps are important for any product owner or product manager. They allow product teams to create a map of product development milestones and their status over time.
When you build product roadmaps, it’s important to use product management software tools that you can customize. You should also consider different product development roadmap structures and your product’s needs in order to create product roadmaps that work for product development.