Before even logging into ProductPlan and getting started, there are a few questions to answer to ensure your roadmaps come out as amazing as your product! Let’s start with the most important ones…
Who is my intended audience?
Define your primary audience, as well as secondary and even tertiary audiences. This will give you insight into what questions they will be asking. This means your roadmap can be the first place to point to answer FAQs. Maybe you’ll be presenting this to the Board of Directors, and know they care most about the fiscal year OKRs. When setting up your Lanes and Legend, make sure this information is accessible and easily digestible for these groups!
Who will I be sharing my roadmaps with?
Outside of the intended audience, think about additional audiences that might be interested in your work. When it comes to roadmaps, the more eyes the better. Transparency is the key to keeping alignment and consistency. You can even embed your roadmap on a Jira page or team Wiki page! Keep this in the back of your mind throughout the process, as it may influence other elements of your roadmap, like Tags and filters.
What am I trying to communicate with my Roadmap?
Let your roadmaps speak for you! The information on them should be easily consumable for your audiences. It’s an art, but ensure that you have the right amount of information on the roadmap and within your bars/containers. A good litmus test is asking, “If I wasn’t in the office, would this roadmap speak for itself?”
What questions should my roadmap be answering for my audience?
You’ve done a bit of the legwork here by answering who your intended audience is. Your roadmaps should have a clear answer to your audience’s primary questions. Let your Lanes and Legend answer the core of these questions for you, and then let your Tags add color and context.
How far out am I planning?
Planning for a new versus existing product will have a big impact on how far out you’re able to plan. Are your roadmaps 100 percent set in stone for the next two sprints? Are you coming up with a company vision over the next decade? Set expectations around the level of detail on your roadmap. This will influence the remaining elements.
As you work on your roadmaps, keep track of what other questions pop up. We’d love to hear about them!