Your roadmap also needs Product-Market-Fit
It’s not just your product that needs product-market fit. Your roadmap also needs product-market fit. But nobody speaks about this.
A roadmap is a communication tool aligning everyone’s expectations on what problems will be tackled, what solutions are being experimented and what hypothesis are being tested, within a timeframe.
But a roadmap is also a tool. A tool to convince others. Convince leadership to allocate resources. Convince management to follow along on your opportunities. Convince teams to prepare for your delivery.
And the only way to make your roadmap a “convincing-weapon” is to make it product-market fit.
Your market, ie your audience with a problem to be solved, are your roadmap customers: operating teams looking for product to evolve, leaderships looking for numbers to improve, investors looking for the company to grow.
Fit means matching the way your audience hears 1) what, 2)why and 3) how you’re solving their problems, in a way they understand that's what they need.
Here are 3 tips on how to achieve PMF for your roadmap, especially if you’re a product leader or responsible for delivering it:
- 🎭 Adapt to the audience: don’t have a one-size fits all. Operational teams need to see things in a way that leadership doesn’t. Leadership cares for a depth level that makes it ineffective for team leaders. Adapt how you design and deliver to the audience.
- 🪶 Make the update lightweight: the worst roadmaps are the outdated ones. But if you make it heavy to update, your PMs will spend more time on it than actually building the product. So make it light to update (pre-built templates, slides, connected to JIRA, source of truth etc)
- ⛏️ Offer different depth levels: the most effective roadmaps allow both a helicopter view, and to dig down into initiatives. If person A cares about initiative X they should understand in detail. If Person B wants the general picture, it should be easy to glance at.
Over time you'll understand roadmap are less for the product team, and more for those that depend on its successful delivery.