Once the team is aligned, your job isn't finished. It's time to roll out—and defend—your roadmap to the whole company. Get tips on how and when to present it and how to respond to questions and objections.
- Once you have a roadmap that's been reviewed and approved by your key product stakeholders, it's time to start building alignment for it among all of your product stakeholders including those inside and outside of your organization. These are the people who weren't in the meeting but who will need to support the roadmap and use it moving forward. In some cases, this may include your customers and partners especially if you have a close relationship with them. The first step is to create a short presentation that simply presents the key elements and decisions of a product roadmap as well as the rationale behind them.
It's often good to start with a slide or two that reminds everyone of your product strategy, what are the top-level business objectives, who are your target customers, and how you plan to win them over to your product from the competition. The meat of the presentation should be a slide with the product roadmap diagram which shows the time periods on the x-axis, different customers or product categories on the y-axis if needed, and the milestones in the grid. Then it's good to have a few rationale slides, one for each of the key decisions where you had to favor one important project over another.
These are especially important for projects that got delayed but are popular with some set of customers or internal stakeholders. It's important that you show the project supporters you understand how important the project is to them and that there's a good reason why it was delayed. The next step is to schedule a series of one-one-one meetings where you present the new roadmap to any product stakeholders who will be impacted by it but who did not participate in the roadmap development process. These could be leaders of operations, customer service, technical support, finance, legal, and so on.
In these meetings, explain the decisions made by the team and the thinking behind it. At the end of each of these one-on-ones, you need to check for alignment again. You might say something like, "I know you're not getting everything you wanted here, "but can you live with this? "Or is there something we need to revisit with the CEO?" If there are any major issues that the decision-making team missed, you'll have to raise them again to the whole group. Once all the one-on-one meetings are completed and all the key stakeholders are aligned, it's time to roll out the roadmap to the entire company or business unit that it'll impact.
It's best to do this as part of an all-hands meeting. This large group meeting is expensive so your presentation should be brief about 10 to 20 minutes max. Any longer and you'll lose a lot of your audience. It's also a best practice to do a public question and answer session at the end of your presentation. Be careful that you always present the product roadmap as the result of the team's efforts. It's not my roadmap and I decided, but our roadmap and we decided.
If appropriate, make sure your external facing teams also have an easy way to share the roadmap with your customers and partners. Often this takes the form of a one-pager that your salespeople and account managers can share with them. Once these meetings are over, your work is done. Your whole organization and its customers and partners can now operate in close coordination with your product development plan.
This course shows how to build a product roadmap for your business—and gain critical stakeholder buy-in. See examples of what roadmaps might look like, and spend time learning the tools and techniques necessary to map the projects for your specific organization. Instructors Teg Grenager and Eldad Persky help you create strong, dynamic roadmaps that will ensure your team is working on the right projects at the right time.
- What is a product roadmap?
- Roadmaps in agile organizations
- Selecting stakeholders
- Researching customers
- Identifying milestones
- Estimating effort
- Maintaining the roadmap