In this day and age, you can’t just have a great product.
You need to have a vision.
We’re inundated with offerings of all kinds. Some of them are fleeting, good only for the current needs. Others are made for long term. Most of them don’t know who they’re serving, or how they’ll adapt as the needs of the market change.
However, the successful few have a plan. They have a product roadmap, and they stick to it.
However, planning a product roadmap isn’t simple. Fortunately, you can use the best product roadmap tool to help you.
According to the definition, a product roadmap is a plan for how your product is going to achieve certain objectives.
Or, to put it simply: we’re all building something.
Software developers build software. They need to know when and who they’ll need to perform certain tasks. Bit by bit, piece of code by piece of code, software emerges.
Marketing agencies build success for their clients. They need to know which channels to optimize (and which channels to use in the first place), and they need to know when they’ll modify their strategy.
All kinds of teams have a product; be that an actual tangible product, a digital product, or a service.
Everyone who is doing something is actually creating a product. And a product, just like a project, needs to follow clear strategy in order to be completed successfully.
A product roadmap isn’t just a useful tool for teams. It can also be used to communicate with other stakeholders; from top management to clients.
It’s an easy way to make sure we stay on track, and tell our clients: “Hey, we’re getting there! There’s no need to worry!”
It’s a win-win.
Additionally, planning a product roadmap (roadmapping) can help stakeholders see and discuss different options, easily understand what the process of creating a product will really be like, and adjust their plans accordingly.
Finally, it’s not enough to just plan the product roadmap. You have to prioritize it and make data-driven decisions.
You need to know what matters.
And the best way to do it is with a great product roadmap tool that will show you how to achieve the best possible outcome.
Depending on where you are with your project and task management efforts, you may be familiar with Kanban boards.
In a nutshell, they’re extremely efficient boards that separate tasks into three categories: to-do, doing, and done.
At the very least, you’re going to need a Kanban board that depicts the product lifecycle or your team’s workflow.
Now, you can set up a Kanban board absolutely anywhere. However, if you’re managing a remote team (or a team that just prefers digital over physical), you should use a Vabotu workspace.
Just some of the things that make Vabotu an awesome team collaboration tool are its team messaging, storage and task management features.
If you want to improve your product roadmap game even more, you can go further with Vabotu Kanban boards.
If you’re not sure about the tasks, make sure you communicate with your clients and the team. You can simply add them to your Vabotu workspace and start up a conversation. You won’t pay extra for more users.
When you’ve defined the tasks that should be on your product roadmap, it’s time to start creating it.
Set up columns that are applicable to your situation.
In most cases, creating a product roadmap can be as simple as separating the tasks in three columns (to-do, doing, and done).
Then, create Vabotu cards for each task that needs to be done.
You can assign an owner to each task, @mention other team members, add labels, notes, deadlines, and images.
It’s always a good idea to assign a general owner to a task, even if multiple team members are working on it.
Make the responsibilities clear, as that’s the key to successfully using a product roadmap.
If different team members or departments are working on similar things, create labels so they can filter by things relevant to them.
You can also use labels to check on the progress of particular tasks and/or teams.
Finally, it’s time to prioritize.
When you create your product roadmap in Vabotu, you aren’t just managing tasks.
You can arrange the tasks according to priorities, and give each priority a certain category.
You can view the high priority tasks first, and deal with low priority tasks later.
You get an instant visual overview, and you can go into task details. There’s no need to think it over – all the information you need to make good decisions will be right there in front of you.
And when you need to add a comment or attach a file, you can do it within Vabotu.
No, you absolutely don’t have to log into your email client and start off an email thread that’ll take hours and days to get everyone on the same page.
Unlike popular tools such as Trello, Asana or Slack, Vabotu gives you everything you need for collaboration in one place:
- Team messaging
- Collaborative features
- Product roadmap and task management
Product Roadmapping Best Practices
Planning and prioritizing a product roadmap is the best way to make accurate decisions. It definitely beats relying on your gut instinct.
However, it’s not enough to just add tasks to your Kanban board and call it a day.
At the core of every successful product launch or iteration are people.
And for that potential to shine, your product roadmap has to facilitate communication and collaboration.
There are a lot of tools on the market promising that they are the best product roadmap tool to have ever existed.
However, when you and your team have to constantly switch tabs in order to stay up to date and on the same page, you’re losing productivity.
You’re losing time.
And you’re losing money.
It’s just not worth it.
Now, a simple Kanban board will help you get organized if you’ve been using post-its for organization previously.
But if you want to create, prioritize and act on your product roadmap, you’re going to need something far more powerful.
You’re going to need a full-fledged team collaboration tool.
When you’ve defined your tasks and created a product roadmap, you need to start working together in order to finish the product.
Now, the majority of tools only offer some of the functions.
Trello will help you create Kanban boards, Slack will let you chat with your team, InDesign will make sure you can upload your files and leave feedback.
But Vabotu does all of that (and more) within one workspace.
Everything you and your team need to make sure you’re executing your strategy according to the product roadmap is contained in your virtual workspace.
You can share files and leave feedback immediately.
Want to start a conversation? You’ve got it. Simply pull up the files and keep the conversation going in the chat.
If someone’s not sure about tasks or if you need to switch priorities, you don’t have to write emails. You can even add your clients to the virtual workspace so they can see how everything is going.
The chat function will make sure you hash out everything that matters, and keep working on the product.
You can use Kanban boards to manage your daily tasks or create product roadmaps. As many as you need.
Finally, you can store all of your files in the Media Hub.
Don’t pay for an integration with Dropbox or Drive – just click and add the file you need.
Instantly share feedback, discuss what matters, and adjust your product roadmap accordingly.
Make sure everyone’s staying on track.
After all, there’s only one key to making your product a success:
And everything is much easier when you’ve got your people on board.