Product management is the core of the process of developing a product. It involves fulfilling a list of responsibilities from leadership to end-product analysis. The product management consultant believes it requires planning a roadmap, as we do in normal development processes. It starts with identifying the need or requirement and then working on that need to build a solution; the process between these two points is what we may call a plan. So, for a moment, think about what a product roadmap can look like?
Product Roadmap- In Brief
For you, a product roadmap can mean different things based on your perception of product development. It can be a Gantt-style chart or an excel spreadsheet in a visual sense. But, what stands behind those visuals makes a roadmap a plan in a genuine way. The substance in a roadmap is a structured way of answering questions about the product’s vision, target audience, etc. In simple words, product managers build a roadmap that represents the making of a house. Like building a house needs a structure, so is the development of a product; because you can not move with your gut feeling.
Answering questions relative to features, objective, target, scale, budget, etc., is the essence of the product roadmap. Roadmaps today go beyond standard feature wishlists and form an essential element of the PM’s planning arsenal. And as markets are undergoing a drastic change in less time, it demands active engagement from product managers. They need to focus on iteration, building, analysis, evaluation, and iteration. However, conventional methods of devising a roadmap will not work anymore in today’s fast-moving market trends. Hence, product managers need to rethink and reimagine new ways to build strategic roadmaps that solve the problems of today’s consumers and serve future requirements.
Best Time To Rethink Current Roadmaps
With fast-changing trends and a rapid shift in consumer behavior, current markets are struggling to cope with the pressure of making new products now and then. It has limited the scope for innovation and cluttered the needs with similar products leaving lesser quality choices for consumers. In this overly crowded market landscape, some companies are trying to overcome market shift hurdles by outnumbering their competitors. However, fast-moving results in unprioritized features, undifferentiated products, and a less credible brand image. It is crucial to make a good product roadmap that can guide companies with a visionary approach.
However, How To Move Forward?
In the past, roadmaps only served as a proxy for the project plans to help product teams move in a specific direction. Conventional roadmap tactics focus on getting the features out in the market rather than thinking about the reason behind those features. Today’s environment is dynamic, and we need better plans to create a better future for all. Yes, profits guide the market, but it is time to shift towards a more holistic approach and develop sustainably. The simple reason for this is conscious consumerism. People are becoming more aware of the changes around them and need better alternatives to grow and develop as individuals. Product managers must understand that external factors like political will, social conditions, environmental situations, etc., influence markets. To put it simply, economics can not control the human mind; that is, product managers need to look at problems from diverse perspectives.
Hence, product managers need their roadmaps to be the harbinger of building products for a visionary future while supplying the demands of existing consumers. Also, they must give concrete reasons to investors and stakeholders to select particular reasons when they build a roadmap. But, how can Product Managers bring inputs to build roadmaps like that?
Fuel Roadmaps With The Blend Of Quant And Qual
Building a strategic roadmap involves using data information to construct a roadmap comprehensively. Including both quantitative and qualitative approaches is the best way to move ahead. Quantitative data provides you with facts and figures about user engagement that may further influence changes in the developed product. In contrast, qualitative data like customer feedback adds context to user behavior. Product managers must balance the two to produce the most robust and action-driven roadmap possible.
Here are a few data sources product managers can leverage:
A company’s strategy must always act like a glue that will bind the distinct elements of a product roadmap together. As a product manager, you need to align all the vital organizational initiatives to your roadmap to ensure the team works in the right direction.
Relying on guesses and gut feelings will take your team nowhere. The product manager must create a clear view of how users engage with your product to let the product team address customer needs and future challenges. For instance, assessing user behavior will help your team guide consumers and solve potential issues.
Understanding The Voice Of The Consumer
Using tools like surveys, polls, and feedback helps qualitatively assess the complete picture of problems your users may be facing. It can serve as a powerful inspiration to make a good roadmap.
Focusing on shifting market trends may not help you develop a practical strategy that is a product market fit. However, it allows you to understand the competitive landscape to leverage this market research.
Roadmaps incorporate the essence of the product development process. Without a plan, no product team can move in an actionable direction. So, utilize these data resources to bring a robust product roadmap into reality. If you need more information about product management recruiters, visit our website.