Blog | March 30, 2017

What Development Shortcuts Can You Use to Plan for in a Product Roadmap?

Product Development, Product Roadmap, Agile
Product Development, Product Roadmap, Agile

Product roadmaps serve as a guide to assist developers in the designing and execution of the product strategy. Product roadmaps are described as a complex visual presentation, laying out the vision and direction of the product.

Product roadmaps include:

  • Describes the product strategy, direction, and vision
  • Serves as a guide for executing the product strategy
  • Gets stakeholders onboard
  • Facilitates the dialogue of options and development planning
  • Communicates development strategy to stakeholders, including customers

Developing a product roadmap is a long and complex process, which requires developers to add features, visualizations, analytics, and a timeline to chart their progress.

Developers rely on the product roadmap to receive insights on data used to design the product. The process of creating a product roadmap takes time so use these four development shortcuts to save time:

1.    Follow the Agile Development Manifesto

In the midst of planning, you may lose track of time due to the number of unplanned features being brought to the table. If one or more of those features are complex in nature, the project will take more time to complete and the costs associated with it will increase as well.

Do not let unplanned features sneak past you, but use the agile development to save time. Agile development emphasizes on collaboration between people and make decisions as a team along with constant planning, testing, and integration.

2.    Decrease Technical Debt before It Bankrupts the Product

Developers cannot escape from technical debt, but they can take measures to reduce it before it bankrupts the products they are working on. You need to reduce the technical debt by paying it down through the design process.

The product roadmap is the key to paying down the debt. Include the technical debt into the product roadmap. The efficient way to do that is to develop a rule, describing the amount of debt you need to fix each cycle or phase.

A product with mounting debt causes the team to focus more on rewriting codes and fixing bugs, not developing new features. You need to log, track, and input the debt you find before you inform the project lead about it.

3.    Get Your Team Up to Speed on New Technologies

It doesn’t take long for technologies to receive the title of “outdated” technology. The constant evolution of newer and improved technologies creates setbacks and delays. Developers need to learn how to use the latest technology on the market as they come out.

They need to factor in time into the product roadmap to learn about the latest technology. To save time, they can hire an expert well versed in using the latest tools. The expert will train each member of the team, teaching them how to use it.

4.    Draw Dependency Diagrams to Avoid Unexpected Dependencies

Dependency diagrams offer developers a graphical presentation of the intricate relationships between several different elements of the product. In the past, you may have decided that the best approach to designing the product is to finish the first of half of the project and then the second half of the project.

If you are running short on time, chances of encountering unexpected dependencies increase. To avoid unexpected dependencies, you can create a dependency diagram for the first half of the year of product development.

To get a head start on your next project, use these four shortcuts to create a product roadmap and everything from money to time will become more manageable.


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