How to Create a Software Roadmap
Creating great software is no easy task. It takes a lot of time, effort, and funds to develop effective software, something that most companies can't afford. Therefore, MVPs have become so popular among software development companies, as these versions can bring in the initial funds needed to continue the project.
Along with the rise in popularity of MVPs, companies have started releasing roadmaps. The best way to look at a roadmap is as a comprehensive visual summary of what your software will provide over time. So how do you create a software roadmap in the first place? Well, let's find out.
Creating a Software Roadmap
A lot of factors go into creating a good software roadmap. In fact, creating a software roadmap can be incredibly hard and demanding, seeing how the Roadmap depends on the customers. Of course, you have to consider the "why" for your project, but you will also have to consider much more. Here are a few tips to help you create the right software roadmap.
- Begin with a Customer-Focused Vision
Now, this may come as a no brainer, but some companies tend to forget just how important this step is. Since the Roadmap is as much for the customers as it is for you, you will have to ensure that the Roadmap focuses on customers. If you do not design the Roadmap based on knowledge about what the customer needs, your Roadmap could become obsolete in a matter of months.
Therefore, you will have to start creating the Roadmap with the customer's needs in mind. Think of this as the North Star that will guide you towards making the right software. But that star has to be based on customer validation, or else it won't work.
- Don't Spend Too Much Time on the Roadmap
As we mentioned before, building an effective roadmap can be very hard. Taking into consideration the needs of customers and consulting with dedicated stakeholders and shareholders takes plenty of time. And it is completely understandable if it does because you want a foolproof roadmap that can satisfy your customers.
However, some businesses can take this a step too far and get carried away with creating a good product road map. In other words, they are spending more time on deciding how to improve the product than improving the product itself. This is one of the worst decisions that a team can make.
- Plan The Project To The Dot
Other than deciding on the vision and the overall goals that the software should achieve, you will also have to allot deadlines and milestones to the project. In other words, you will have to decide the dates that you will be able to roll out updates with the dedicated changes. For example, a mobile app will roll out Facebook integration by August 16, Instagram compatibility by August 26, and so on.
Of course, the project plan will also require consideration on the part of the entire team as to how fast they can work, as not meeting a single deadline can put the entire project behind considerably.
- Assign Roles and Responsibilities
Once you are able to complete the planning phase, next, you will be assigning roles and responsibilities to everyone involved in the project. Even stakeholders will play a part in creating the Roadmap, so you will have to give them a designated role as well.
Not defining roles at the start of the project can make it difficult for the members of the project to concentrate on the project itself. Instead, they will focus more on their duties and what falls under their jurisdiction.
Finally, generating the perfect product roadmap does not end when you complete it. Rather, you will then take on stakeholder and customer feedback to expand and improve your Roadmap. This improvement is necessary for you to create the perfect software roadmap. Customer feedback is especially important here, as they will be able to determine what aspects of the Roadmap do not align with their needs.
Roadmaps are essential to any product or service. Its importance is so well-realized in the industry that even gaming companies have used roadmaps to show their customers what to expect from their live service games.