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Product roadmaps from the ground up

Building market-driven roadmaps for better, more successful products

Blair Reeves

The product roadmap is a key tool for product managers. However, the product roadmap isn't a wishlist; nor is it a forced march. Rather, the roadmap is an organizational and planning document that should clarify and simplify the product development process. Any product-led company wants its offerings to resonate with the needs of its customers, particularly in a direct-sales business model. A sound roadmap planning process is critical to aligning interests between product management, development, marketing and sales, and company leadership.

Join Blair Reeves to learn how to take control of the roadmap planning process to develop more impactful products that are better aligned with customer needs and company priorities. Over three hours, you'll learn the importance of the product roadmap and get hands-on experience developing the skills you need to create a 12-month roadmap for your own products.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The proper role of the product roadmap
  • The role and function of a product leadership team to guide product development
  • Tactics for gathering and analyzing customer input for the roadmap

And you’ll be able to:

  • Develop a 12-month product roadmap plan that serves your organization’s goals while meeting customer needs
  • Adjust to necessary changes or deviations from the roadmap with built-in prioritization adaptations

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a product manager responsible for a specific product or product line, and you need to deliver a product roadmap for the next 12 months.
  • You're an executive with responsibility for growing revenue of a particular product line, and you need to build alignment between development and product management.

Prerequisites

  • A basic understanding of software development fundamentals (software as a service, consumer versus enterprise markets, development languages, etc.)

Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Blair Reeves is a principal product manager at SAS Software, and has previously held senior product and leadership roles at Demandware (now the Salesforce Commerce Cloud) and IBM. He speaks, writes, and consults on product management in enterprise software, remote workforces, and other topics. Blair is an avid hiker, writes and codes creatively, and believes inspired products are built first in the gym. He has an annoying Twitter habit at @BlairReeves.

Schedule

The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction to roadmaps (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: What's a roadmap, and why do you need one?; the three main functions of a product roadmap

Laying the roadmap foundation (35 minutes)

  • Lecture: Establishing the product vision; defining the roadmap’s audiences and consumers and their needs; prioritizing long-term versus short-term projects; common pitfalls in the roadmap development process
  • Group discussion: What's your product’s vision?
  • Group discussion and Q&A
  • Break (10 minutes)

Building the roadmap (30 minutes)

  • Lecture: Setting goals for the roadmap and prioritization; the product leadership team; sample roadmap timeline
  • Hands-on exercise: Using an example scenario, determine how you would approach this issue, rank or prioritize each project in turn, and explain to executive leadership why you did it this way
  • Group discussion and Q&A

Executing on the roadmap (40 minutes)

  • Lecture: Tracking sprints; making changes on the fly; roadmap communication to both internal and external audiences
  • Hands-on exercise: Using an example scenario, determine how you would approach this issue, rank or prioritize each project in turn, and explain to executive leadership why you did it this way
  • Group discussion and Q&A
  • Break (10 minutes)

Liftoff: The product/enhancement launch (30 minutes)

  • Lecture: Planning for launches and releases; assigning responsibilities between product, marketing, sales, and others; a launch planning checklist; postlaunch monitoring, including key performance indicators (KPIs) worth considering and how this data should be used in future releases
  • Group discussion and Q&A

Wrap-up and Q&A (15 minutes)