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Stop wasting time with roadmaps!


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David Bignell - Product Lead at SEEK

Published in: Technology
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Stop wasting time with roadmaps!

  1. 1. Stop wasting time with roadmaps SEEK Product – February 2018
  2. 2. So, what is a roadmap? 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. “Road maps show people how they can travel from one place to another“ – “A company roadmap is a document to capture and quickly convey its big-picture plans and objectives “ – 4
  5. 5. “a document to capture and quickly convey a team’s big-picture goals, specific objectives and their imagined path to sucess” – me 5
  6. 6. Why are they used so much? 6
  7. 7. 7 The first purpose is because the management of a company wants to make sure that the teams are working on the highest value items first, relevant to the company strategy. The second purpose is because businesses may have date-based commitments. The roadmap is where they see and track those commitments. Source: Adapted from
  8. 8. So they’re pretty useful!! Great! but, didn’t you say……. 8
  9. 9. They’re a waste of time. I did say that. Sorry. Here’s a few reasons why. 9
  10. 10. 1 - The intended goals / purpose are not stated, or are not clear. 10 Source: Not sure, found it on Pintrest
  11. 11. 2 - They are often far too specific 11 Source:
  12. 12. 3 - They do not account for “time to value”. Iteration is almost always needed to realise the full value of a new product/feature. 12 Source: Dave Bignell product fail
  13. 13. 4 - Detail on a roadmap can lead teams to auto-pilot. They build what they put down on paper often months in advance. 13 Source: – a company selling Product Management software……….
  14. 14. 5 - Roadmaps are often created in Excel / PowerPoint and then shared via email. As soon as anything changes, the distributed copies are out of date. Keeping stakeholders up to date can drain a lot of time this way. 14
  15. 15. 15 "Many untested hypotheses, based on assumptions, plotted in an uncertain future, baring no resemblance to reality" - Jared Spool,
  16. 16. So roadmaps suck! 16 …but they really don’t have to.
  17. 17. 17 Biggie’s top tips for better roadmaps 1. Your roadmap should show where you intend to take your product and what problems you will try to solve to get there. 2. Choose the granularity relative to the timeframe and audience. 3. Avoid specificity. Focus on problems, JTBD or objectives as descriptors of intent. The future is unknowable 4. Keep the format simple, centralised and accessible; minimise your effort to produce. 5. Always remember that the roadmap works for you! It is a tool, it is not your job.
  18. 18. 18 Source:
  19. 19. 19 Source:
  20. 20. New Product Roadmap – as at 19th February 2018 Priority Theme Channel / Product Objective Key Results Current initiatives (and potential next items) Have a Real Relationship with Every Candidate Attract all candidates SEO To dramatically improve candidate’s to discover relevant SEEK job ads via SEO • 2.6M SERP SEO visits mthly • Company SERP scale • Indexing pages for Company Reviews Best search and match experience Discover To increase candidates onsite with relevant job ads To increase candidate engagement in events which are known to drive deeper loyalty (app installs, jobmail sign up) • 0.5 interest connections per visit • 0.13 Loyalty events per visit • Interest signals (C2C) scale • SEEK Learning on site optimisations • Tealium integration Hobbit To increase the relevant jobs shown to candidates • TBC • TBC Job search TBC • Development of Experimentation Framework • Refactoring search endpoint Apps (iOS & Android) To increase candidate engagement with apps • 13.3m Visits to the app mthly • 0.05 IOS and 0.1 for android Loyalty events per visit • 0.5 IOS and 0.45 Android Interest signals per visit • Push opt-in Optimisation on IOS • Profile onboarding optimisation • Sign in optimisations to address loyalty KR • Android Deep Linking • Follow company on IOS Notifications To increase candidate engagement with SEEK’s proactive communication • 4.5m Visits from notifications • 35% of Profiles updated their last role title in 6mths • New recommendations push notifications • WRU Optimisation (daily send) Alexa* To enable candidates to easily browse key SEEK content on Alexa • Ongoing monitoring Juicy (Data Depth To significantly increase the amount of value information we know about candidates to help them stand out • Experiment goal: >5% of logged-in candidates exposed will update their • Experiment on SERP to nudge for salary and RTW to test collection scale Confidential Source: SEEK