10 Tools to create impressive product roadmaps

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10 best-practive tools to create, discuss and present product and technology roadmaps. Use these tools to delight your team and with a well-thought, clear and crisp product roadmap. Focus your team on what really matters!

Want to use this for your team? Download the PPT template to easily copy-paste a slide into your presentation and adapt it to your design and content: http://radiantminds.com/10-roadmap-tools/

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10 Tools to create impressive product roadmaps

  1. 1. 10 Roadmap Tools A collection of tools to create, discuss and present product and technology roadmaps. © Radiant Minds Software
  2. 2. Tools Summary Tool Description Slide # 3 Horizons model Presentation tool to structure roadmap by time and uncertainty (extend/defend current business, create future opportunities). 3 Technology trend capitalization Analysis and presentation tool to discuss current and future market positioning along relevant trends and implications on the product roadmap. 8 Product Canvas Communicate the key facts to a product (release) in 1 slide to align everyone on what‟s the focus. 14 Technology theme Investments Analysis tool to discover areas requiring more resource investments and areas to divest. 19 Pictures of the future Thinking framework to align short-term and long-term vision and brainstorm new opportunities. 24 Market / technology alignment Analysis and presentation tool to align marketing messages with technology innovations. 31 Kano model Analysis tool which helps to understand product qualities and their impact on customer satisfaction in order to prioritize the roadmap. 36 Compact QFD Prioritization tool which focuses on customer needs and product qualities relative to competitive products. 41 Technology S-curve Brainstorming tool to shape the discussion around incremental improvements vs. potentially disruptive technologies. 45 The golden feature A communication tool to create a singular focus on doing one great thing. 50 © Radiant Minds Software
  3. 3. 3 Horizons Model The 3 horizons model an excellent tool to communicate the high-level product roadmap structured into activities to extending and defending the current business and creating future opportunities. The original management-oriented model was proposed by Badhai, Coley and White in “Alchemy of Growth”. Geoffrey Moore picked it up and built on it in “Escape Velocity”. © Radiant Minds Software
  4. 4. Tool summary Structure your roadmap themes into 3 horizons, make sure to invest into extending and defending the current business, but also into creating viable future options. Exploration into new markets Profit Horizon 3 Create viable options Horizon 2 Build emerging businesses Horizon 1 Extend and defend core businesses Existing market that we do not serve Existing market that we currently serve Time (years) Knowledge of Market New market Adjacent growth 10% 20% 70% Improvement Extension Variants Cost Reduction Next gen. products Exploration with new technologies Knowledge of Technology Existing technology that we currently use New Existing technology that technology we do not use © Radiant Minds Software
  5. 5. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Rate your current roadmap investments • How would you classify your recent and currently planned roadmap investments? • How much did you invest per horizon? • Do you have ideas in the pipeline in all categories? 2 Define your target investments per horizon • How much are you willing and able to seed for long-term growth? • How much does it take to harvest from your core businesses? 3 4 Match target investments with actual roadmap ideas • Do your current investments match your target? • Align roadmap themes and budgets with horizon goals. Share and discuss • Use the results to discuss with all business functions and align short-term as well as long-term perspective © Radiant Minds Software
  6. 6. What’s the benefit?  Ensure your innovation pipeline does not dry up  Balance investments in short and long term opportunities  Get people on board with your vision © Radiant Minds Software
  7. 7. Profit Resource investment 10% Resource investment Resource investment 70% Theme / Epic … 20% Theme / Epic … … … … Horizon 3 Create viable options … … Theme / Epic … Horizon 2 Build emerging businesses … Horizon 1 Extend and defend core businesses Time (years) © Radiant Minds Software
  8. 8. Technology Trend Capitalization A presentation tool to discuss current and future market positioning and implications on the product roadmap © Radiant Minds Software
  9. 9. Tool summary The tech industry has historically been shaped by trends which influence both the customers‟ environment and the resulting product needs. Examples of recent mega-trends in IT include Mobile, Social, Cloud, Apps or Big Data. Positioning along a trend can help to better speak the customers‟ language and focus on problems with high awareness in the market. Trend The trend capitalization tool is both a decision support tool and a presentation tool to align a roadmap with market trends (or purposefully position outside mainstream if desired). Today Implications What does it mean for our customers and their use of our products/services? Leverage What do we do to capitalize on this trend? Expected end of hype cycle Risk mitigation What do we do to prevent threats resulting from this trend? © Radiant Minds Software
  10. 10. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Identify trends relevant to your business • What‟s in the media currently? • What are analysts talking about? Which buzzwords are they using? • What‟s talked about on relevant industry events? • What are your customers talking and asking about? 2 Analyze implications of each trend • What does a trend mean for our customers? Which new challenges will they be confronted with? What will become easier/better? • What will become mainstream, which activities/habits etc. will be obsolete? • Which tools will be obsolete? • Which new technologies will be available to be leveraged? Which technologies will be outdated? Are we using any of these? Do we have expertise? 3 Identify opportunities and threats • How can we leverage a trend with new products or services? • How can we improve existing products to serve the changing needs of our customers? • Can we shape the trend? • Could the trend negatively impact our core business? Could essential products become obsolete? © Radiant Minds Software
  11. 11. What’s the benefit?  Leverage current trends, speak the language of customers and the media  Anticipate changes in the customer‟s environment resulting from high level industry changes and adapt products proactively  Identify and mitigate risks resulting from major paradigm shifts © Radiant Minds Software
  12. 12. What it means for our customers and their use of our products/services Mobile Change for customers 1 … Implications … … … … Leverage Risk mitigation What do we do to capitalize on this trend? Product / Service / BM change … What do we do to prevent threats resulting from this trend? Exploration/Research … … … … Product / Service / BM change … … … Leverage Product change Tech/skill acquisition Exploration/Research … Risk mitigation Change for customers 1 Apps Tech/skill acquisition Change for customers 1 Social Product change … … … Product / Service / BM change … … … Leverage Product change Tech/skill acquisition Exploration/Research … Risk mitigation Implications Implications © Radiant Minds Software
  13. 13. Note: The trends can also well be integrated with tool #2 (horizon model) in a presentation. Resource investment 10% Theme / Epic Resource investment 20% Resource investment … Theme / Epic 70% … … Theme / Epic … … Horizon 3 Create viable options … … … Horizon 2 Build emerging businesses … Horizon 1 Extend and defend core businesses Market Trends Trend 1 Trend 3 Trend 2 Trend 4 © Radiant Minds Software
  14. 14. Product Canvas Communicate the key facts to a product (release) in 1 slide to align everyone on what’s the focus. © Radiant Minds Software
  15. 15. Tool summary The product canvas communicates on one page the key facts on a product or product release. Its main purpose is stakeholder communication and alignment. It aims to ensure everyone has the same understanding for what you‟re building, for whom and why, and how it will be communicated to the outside. Product Vision for whom? why? what? Success factors (product) Key messages and drivers (market) References The canvas has been adapted based on Alexander Osterwalder‟s Business Model Canvas and Roman Pichler‟s Product Canvas. http://alexosterwalder.com/ http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/agile-product-innovation/the-product-canvas/ © Radiant Minds Software
  16. 16. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Envision the next product release • Who will be the main users? (Define personas) • Which problems will the product solve for these users? Particularly, which new solutions will we offer with the next release? • Why is our solution unique? How are we solving the problem differently? Why is it better for our users? 2 Identify success factors • What is key for the product in order to solve these problems / deliver on these USPs? • What could make or break it? • What do we need to get absolutely right in order to succeed? (Note: these are aspects the team will focus on afterwards in validating early with customers, designing, polishing to the last detail etc.) 3 Identify key marketing messages and drivers • If you got the product right, which messages will drive awareness in the market? • What should we emphasize in our content and messaging? • Which trends/changes/forces in the users‟ environment will drive adoption of the new solutions? © Radiant Minds Software
  17. 17. What’s the benefit?  Communicate the focus of a product (release) in one slide  Align the inside perspective on the product with the outside perspective (market messages)  Be clear about who benefits from a release and why © Radiant Minds Software
  18. 18. Product Vision for whom? why? what? Success factors (product) Top 3-5 target personas w. their role and characteristics Which problems do they have today, why do they need a solution What are we doing differently? How are we solving the problem? Why is this product worth buying? Which are key factors that will make or break it product-wise? Key messages and drivers (market) How will this be messaged to the outside? What will drive awareness and adoption? What will we emphasize marketingwise? © Radiant Minds Software
  19. 19. Technology Theme Investments Analysis tool to discover areas requiring more resource investments and areas to divest © Radiant Minds Software
  20. 20. Tool summary This tools helps you brainstorm technology areas which require increased resource investments and others, where the level of investment can be reduced. Brainstorm in a group and see how each team member judges the current situation. After having achieved an agreement on the status quo, draw conclusions on resource shifts. Step 1 – Brainstorm Step 2 – Derive action items Overinvested Tech A Tech D Overinvested, and not important anymore Resource shift Tech B Underinvested Importance / Expected market impact Tech C Underinvested and important Importance / Expected market impact © Radiant Minds Software
  21. 21. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Create a list of existing products and/or technologies to evaluate • Be as detailed as needed to distinguish separate building blocks, but keep the list manageable. • Sources of input: Which items are on the price list? Which technical components exist (and could be shipped independently)? Which basic technologies/platforms did we build on? Which integration points do we have? 2 Have each team member position the items on the technology investments matrix • Classify all items collected in step 1 by perceived market relevance and importance to the current/future business and whether the current level of resource investment is perceived too high or too low (relative to other products, relative to competition – make sure to agree with the time on these criteria first) 3 Discuss, re-arrange and get consensus • See how everyone positioned the items, discuss items with fundamental disagreements individually 4 Draw conclusions on technology themes and resource investments on the next roadmap • Once the positioning is final, discuss concrete possibilities to reduce investments into resourceintensive, but unimportant areas in order to shift to highly relevant areas with lack of resources. © Radiant Minds Software
  22. 22. What’s the benefit?  Redistribute R&D resources continuously according to current market priorities  Establish shared understanding of resource situation  Derive actionable measures to invest resources where they have most impact © Radiant Minds Software
  23. 23. Theme / Technology Overinvested Resource shift Underinvested … Theme, Technology, or Product … Importance / Expected market impact © Radiant Minds Software
  24. 24. Pictures of the future Pictures of the futures is a thinking framework originally developed by Siemens. It helps shaping the thought process from the current business and products to future opportunities. © Radiant Minds Software
  25. 25. Tool summary Think “logically ahead” from the current business, and backwards from future scenarios, and align the resulting technology, product and service needs. Strategic Visioning Scenarios Business area [..] Extrapolation Current business Retropolation Via Roadmaps On the basis of scenarios New Markets New Customer Needs New Technologies New Business Impacts Products Technologies Customer Needs Today Short-term Mid-term Business area [..] Cross-sectional segment [..] Cross-sectional segment [..] Influential Factors Individuum Society Politics Economy Environment Technology Customers Competitors Long-term © Siemens AG, 2005 © Radiant Minds Software
  26. 26. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Start with your current business • Which customer needs are satisfied? • What„s the current product mix and technologies? 2 Extrapolate from there • If you continue, what would „naturally“ be the next steps? • Which features would you build to serve current needs even better? • What are customers asking for? 3 Imagine future scenarios • Where do you see current customers or new customer segments in few years from now? • With which challenges will they be confronted? • Which technologies might be predominant at this point in time? 4 Retropolate from the future scenarios - What do I need to create short and mid-term to fulfill future customer needs? - (How) can long-term needs be aligned with short-term development? - Which product/platform features support both future and current needs? - Which risks result from my current position in relation to all future scenarios? Are we prepared? - … © Radiant Minds Software
  27. 27. What’s the benefit?  Think outside the box of current customers and usage scenarios  Shape the discussion to discover potentially disruptive technologies and ideas  Align long-term vision and short-term activities – don‟t just address any new greenfield area © Radiant Minds Software
  28. 28. Short-term focus area 1 • Enter ideas here to strengthen current USPs or address immediate threats • Focus on todays offering • … TODAY Key personas we serve USPs / Unfair advantage Focus on key segments you service today, how are they characterized and why do they use the products/services? What’s unique today? Which USPs work with current customers? Short-term focus area 2 • … • … • … Short-term focus area 3 • … • … • … Weaknesses / Immediate Threats Any immediate threats from competition, new technologies, dissatisfaction with the offering, perceived weaknesses in the market,..? © Radiant Minds Software
  29. 29. Future scenario 1 TOMORROW Future scenario 1 Key assumptions Expected impact Key assumptions Expected impact Describe the most important assumptions in your future scenario What’s the potential impact on your current business? … … Future scenario 1 Long-term focus area 1 • Enter ideas here to address future scenarios • Focus on potential future USPs in case a scenario materializes • … Long-term focus area 1 • … • … • … Key assumptions Expected impact … … Long-term focus area 3 • … • … • … © Radiant Minds Software
  30. 30. Short-term focus area 1 Roadmap Theme 4 … Short-term focus area 2 Short-term focus area 3 Roadmap Theme 3 … Roadmap Theme 2 … Long-term focus area 1 Roadmap Theme 1 Roadmap focus area catering to short-term needs in alignment with long-term vision Long-term focus area 2 Long-term focus area 3 © Radiant Minds Software
  31. 31. Market / Technology Alignment Analysis and presentation tool to align marketing messages with technology innovations © Radiant Minds Software
  32. 32. Tool summary Content is product, and vice versa. Everything a company presents and offers to the outside, either products or free content should be in sync and communicate one message. Avoid marketing a technology which you don‟t have, or leaving technologies unleveraged. The market / technology alignment tool simply puts the key items from technology and market perspective next to each other in order to identify if these are in line. Fill out the template with the top 5 content themes and next top 5 technology innovations. If you can‟t clearly relate them to each other, it‟s a red flag for misalignment! Market Top 5 Messages / Content Themes Core message /theme which shall be communicated to customer segment XY… “ … Technology Top 5 Product Innovations ? New product / Product enhancement & key USP … © Radiant Minds Software
  33. 33. How to use for roadmapping? 1 Collect top 5 marketing messages / content themes • What are you planning to message alongside upcoming releases? • Which aspects/benefits will be emphasized? • Which customer needs/pain points will be addressed to create awareness? 2 Collect top 5 upcoming technology and product advancements • What‟s new in the product in the upcoming releases? • Which problems will these advancements solve? 3 Analyze linkages and relations • Does a market message relate directly to the upcoming product advancements? • Does a technology advancement deliver on a particular message/content? • Do marketing content and product advancements reach the same group of users/buyers? 4 Identify out-of-context items and react if necessary • Technology advancements with no linkage to any marketing message are not leveraged currently and might get lost – make sure these improvements will be visible to the market! • Marketing messages with to linkage to technology advancements are in danger to be just marketing buzzwords on which you can‟t deliver. Reconsider these messages (unless they are based on technology which you already have for longer time). © Radiant Minds Software
  34. 34. What’s the benefit?  Ensure your content and products speak the same language and present a consistent message to the outside  Avoid to disappoint customers by not having product depth and substance behind marketing sizzle  Discover unleveraged technology advancements to create content © Radiant Minds Software
  35. 35. Market Top 5 Messages / Content Themes Technology Top 5 Product Innovations Core message /theme which shall be communicated to customer segment XY… New product / Product enhancement & key USP … … … … … … … … “ “ “ “ “ © Radiant Minds Software
  36. 36. Kano Model Originally developed by Professor Noriaki Kano in 1984, this tool helps to understand product qualities and their impact on customer satisfaction. © Radiant Minds Software
  37. 37. Tool summary The Kano model is a tool to analyze customer needs in relation to expected satisfaction/excitement. It helps prioritizing features, and identify excitement attributes which are great to emphasize in marketing messages. Kano differentiates 5 types of customer preferences: • • • • • Attractive quality – provides satisfaction if achieved fully, do not cause dissatisfaction if not fulfilled One-dimensional quality – Satisfaction if fulfilled, dissatisfaction if not fulfilled Must-be quality – taken for granted if fulfilled, dissatisfaction if not fulfilled Indifferent quality – Neither good nor bad Reverse quality – High degree of achievement results in dissatisfaction (e.g. due to feature overload) satisfied Delighters Performance needs Indifference Not implemented Fully implemented satisfied Over time, exciting innovations turn into perceived basic needs. Not implemented Fully implemented Basic needs dissatisfied dissatisfied Source: N. Kano, 1984 Another good discussion on using the Kano model can be found here. © Radiant Minds Software
  38. 38. How to use for roadmapping? 1 List the key features for a new products or the enhancements in an upcoming release 2 Discuss and categorize which product qualities they add according to Kano’s categories • Which are attractive qualities and potential delighters? • Which one-dimensional quality attributes do we serve and do which degree? • Which are must-be to be viable? • Anything that is in danger to be “too much”, i.e., a threat for a reverse quality? 3 Brainstorm gaps based on your target personas • Look at your target personas – any must-have‟s you do not fulfill on yet? • Which one-dimensional quality attributes might not be well-served yet after a release? 4 Balance resource investments and leverage the “delighters” • Complete your features list based on the analysis • Categorize and communicate as part of your roadmap • Figure out ways to underline and leverage the delighters among your product qualities © Radiant Minds Software
  39. 39. What’s the benefit?  Understand and manage customers‟ expectations with regards to different product qualities  Balance the roadmap to be viable by fulfilling basic needs but also excite with delighters  Identify those product qualities which really make a visible difference and focus the positioning and go-tomarket © Radiant Minds Software
  40. 40. Very satisfied / excited How we’ll delight users Delighters The more, the better Performance Features Theme / Epic Theme / Epic … … … … … … Need well fulfilled Need not fulfilled Reverse qualities We should not: - … - … Basic needs Theme / Epic … … … Unsatisfied What could be even counterproductive? What is simply expected to be viable? © Radiant Minds Software
  41. 41. Compact QFD Prioritization tool which focuses on customer needs and product qualities relative to competitive products. © Radiant Minds Software
  42. 42. Tool summary Compact QFD is a simplified variant of the quality function deployment methodology originally described by Dr. Yoji Akao. It aims to prioritize product features based on underlying customer needs and their importance relative to competitive solutions. The analysis is done in two steps: 1. Identify relevant product qualitites and compare your product relative to competition Product quality attribute Our product Competitor A Competitor B … … … Enhancement 4 … Enhancement 3 Weighting Enhancement 2 Product quality attribute Enhancement 1 2. Weight the quality attributes: the more your product is behind, the higher the weight 3. Classify enhancements/projects according to whether they improve a particular quality attribute (from 1 to 10) and calculate a weighted total score to prioritize the enhancements … Weighted Total 20 © Radiant Minds Software
  43. 43. What’s the benefit?  Prioritize a roadmap based on the competitive landscape  Focus on emphasizing your strengths or catching up with competition  Clearly explain why certain features are chosen over others © Radiant Minds Software
  44. 44. Product quality attribute Our product Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Competitor D PQA 1 10 6 4 8 7 PQA 2 2 8 10 4 3 PQA 3 6 10 9 5 4 PQA 4 7 5 6 8 7 Product quality attribute Weighting Enhancement 1 PQA 1 1 4 PQA 2 10 PQA 3 7 PQA 4 4 … … Weighted Total Enhancement 4 Enhancement 2 10 3 Enhancement 3 … 1 1 7 1 11 2 30 20 85 © Radiant Minds Software
  45. 45. Technology S-Curve Brainstorming tool to shape the discussion around incremental improvements vs. potentially disruptive technologies © Radiant Minds Software
  46. 46. Tool summary Proposed by Clayton Christensen* in order to explain how disruptive innovations rise and ultimately wipe existing players out of the market, this tool can be used well to spark a discussion around the status quo of a firms‟ current product and idea pipeline, as well as how resources are invested currently. Measure of advancement Tthe S-curve indicates that technologies, after an inception phase, will see a steep curve of advancement, until the boundaries of a solution approach are reached and improvements are only marginal. Disruptive technologies might be inferior first, but by taking the route of advancement, they have the potential to ultimately outpace previous solutions. New technology Existing technology Measure of applied effort *Clayton Christensen: The Innovator‟s Dilemma. http://www.claytonchristensen.com/books/the-innovators-dilemma/ © Radiant Minds Software
  47. 47. How to use for roadmapping? 1 List the assets in your current product portfolio, and the technologies you are working on • Focus on groups / themes of technology, not individual features 2 Position your products and technologies on the S-curve • Where do you see yourself? • Is a technology still in its infancy with lots of opportunities for a big performance jump forward? Is it well established and mature? • Is it a new solution to a problem? 3 Position competitive solutions from your market research • Who‟s competing along the lines of an established technology? • Who‟s solving the same problem, but with different technologies and solution approaches? 4 Balance your pipeline • Reconsider your resource investments based on the results • Focus on ideation for novel solutions if you mostly invest in established solutions • Focus on improving and maturing emerging technologies ahead of competition © Radiant Minds Software
  48. 48. What’s the benefit?  Get potential substitute solutions and disruptive technologies on your radar  Identify “dead ends” of a technology early enough to react  Align resource investments and balance them across technology horizons © Radiant Minds Software
  49. 49. Current product(s) and pipeline vs. competition Advancement Core product 2 Core product 1 Competitor A Competitor B Product 3 Applied effort © Radiant Minds Software
  50. 50. The golden feature A communication tool to create a singular focus on doing one great thing. © Radiant Minds Software
  51. 51. Tool summary The golden feature methodology was originally proposed by the experts at the 280group. In Brian Lawley‟s words* “The idea behind the Golden Feature technique is that you choose a single feature that is the absolute most important priority for the release, and then you get the entire team to rally around it as the focus. This single feature provides enough customer value to hang the entire release on.” *Source: Brian Lawlay, 280 Group LLC: How to Create Compelling Product Roadmaps Available from http://www.mii.lt/files/product_roadmap_white_paper.pdf © Radiant Minds Software
  52. 52. What’s the benefit?  Focus around a simple, compelling message for a release  Focus the team to get this one aspect really right from all perspectives  Be flexible and clear in planning – the golden feature needs to be in for sure, cut scope in other areas if necessary  Increase likelihood to get the release you want to market on time due to singular focus © Radiant Minds Software
  53. 53. Release v1.0 Golden Feature of Release 1.0 USP of golden feature– what is it and what makes it unique? What do we need to do to make it great? Other roadmap themes and features … … … … © Radiant Minds Software
  54. 54. Closing remarks • Tools don‟t solve problems, but they can help structure the path to find a solution • There‟s no right or wrong approach – tweak the tools to make them work for your team! • We’d love to hear from you! • You have other tools we definitely have to include in this collection? Disagree with a methodology or see downsides we should mention? Any other thoughts on roadmaps and roadmap tools? Feedback on how a tool worked for your team? • Mail it to me at martin@radiantminds.com or reach us via Twitter (@RadiantMindsHQ), LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or whatever media works best for you! Happy roadmapping! Martin Suntinger Founder, CEO @ Radiant Minds Software © Radiant Minds Software

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